With a season-high five-game winning streak on the line, the Boston University men’s basketball team entered into a high-profile matchup against Colgate University Tuesday, hoping to gain a share of first place in the Patriot League, but BU fell 79-63.
Despite a second half comeback by the Terriers (15-11, 9-4 Patriot League), the Raiders (20-6, 11-2 Patriot League) ultimately proved too much to handle and secured the victory.
BU head coach Joe Jones expressed his admiration for the Raiders as a team and praised their performance against his squad.
“They’re an awfully good team. I thought they played like a championship caliber team,” Jones said. “On the defensive end they really took it to us in that last 10 minute span.”
The Terriers got rolling early in the game, getting out to an early 9-2 lead. The run was led by senior forward Max Mahoney who scored the team’s first four points and stripped the ball twice in the first four minutes of the game.
Despite BU’s early momentum, the Colgate offense eventually started clicking and went up 12-11 with 13:12 left in the first half after finishing off a 10-2 run.
Both teams continued to trade offensive blows for the remainder of half, resulting in a 36-36 tie at halftime.
The Terriers ended the first half going 15-28 from the floor, good for a field goal percentage of 53.6. On the opposite side, the Raider’s ended the first half shooting 46.7 percent from the field on 30 attempts.
Colgate came out firing at the beginning of the second half, going on a 7-0 run to go up 43-36.
The Terriers fought back and tied the game at 49 at the 11:08 mark in the second half, but that was the last time BU tied the game.
The Terrier’s offense went ice cold in the last 10 minutes and only managed to score 14 points during that span.
Although BU struggled on offense overall, Mahoney and junior guard Javante McCoy performed well.
Mahoney finished the game with 16 points, eight rebounds and a block. McCoy, the reigning Patriot League Player of the Week, finished with a game-high 18 points, as well as five rebounds and three assists.
Jones recognized both Mahoney and McCoy’s plays and said they are two of the better players in the Patriot League.
“I thought those two guys did some really good things … Those two guys are two of the better players in the league,” Jones said. “ Arguably they’re [the] First Team, Second Team. They’re right there with the best players in the league.”
Overall, the Terrier’s finished the night shooting 26-of-60 from the floor and had a woeful game from behind the arc, where they finished 4-21.
The prolific offense of Colgate fared much better. The Raiders shot 28-of-59, good for a field percentage of 47.5. The Raiders were also more efficient from beyond the arc, shooting 9-of-18.
The Raiders were led on offense by junior guard Jordan Burns, who scored a team-high 15 points and tallied six assists. Senior forward Rapolas Ivanauskas also had a notable offensive performance, scoring 15 points and tallying an assist.
Ivanauskas’s presence was felt on the defensive side of the ball where he rejected two shots.
With this loss, the Terriers are still sitting in second place in the Patriot League and now are two games behind first place Colgate.
Although the team suffered a tough league defeat, Jones still remains confident in his squad’s ability to emerge as Patriot League champions this season.
“We’re good enough to win this thing, we know that,” Jones said. “But we’ve got to learn and keep getting better,”
The Terriers will be competing again Saturday on the road against the United States Naval Academy (12-11, 6-6 Patriot League) with tipoff set for 4 p.m at Alumni Hall in Annapolis, Maryland.