The Boston University men’s basketball team cruised to a win in Maryland for a Saturday matchup against the United States Naval Academy, defeating the Midshipmen 77-54.
The Terriers (16-11, 10-4 Patriot League) dominated on both ends of the court, maintaining a lead over Navy (13-12, 7-7 Patriot League) for the entirety of the game besides a brief tie in the first five minutes of the game.
The win is BU’s sixth victory in the last seven games after a loss to top-seeded Colgate University on Feb. 10. Saturday’s defeat of the Midshipmen also makes the Terriers 7-0 on Navy’s home turf at Alumni Hall in Annapolis, Maryland.
BU Head Coach Joe Jones said his players have been putting in the hard work and attributes their success to strong chemistry on the floor.
“We’ve been very connected… playing together, and we’ve been playing very hard,” Jones said. “That kind of gives you a chance to be good and when we’re making shots, we’re a really good team.”
BU senior forward Max Mahoney dominated the first half, posting 15 points, seven rebounds and three assists in 12 minutes. Mahoney helped the Terriers control the paint on offense, with 16 of BU’s 38 points in the first half coming from the post.
By the end of the half, BU led Navy 38-19 and shot 57.7 percent from the field compared to 27.6 percent for the Midshipmen. Mahoney finished the night as the top scorer of the game with 17 points
Jones praised Mahoney’s impact both on and off the court and his ability to help his team win that goes beyond just putting the ball in the basket.
“He brings great energy, great leadership, every day to our program,” Jones said. “We wouldn’t be here in the position that we’re in right now without him. He’s been terrific all year. He’s the guy that’s always the loudest on the floor, communicating what we need to be doing, always one to help his teammates, so when one of your best players is like that, then you got a chance.”
BU sophomore forward Walter Whyte posted his fourth double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds on the night, while junior guard Javante McCoy scored 16 points and grabbed four rebounds. Junior guard Andrew Petcash also chipped in 12 points.
The Terriers’ largest lead of the game came in the second half with a 3-pointer from Whyte to put his team up by 28 points with less than six minutes left.
Navy’s offensive woes continued throughout the game. The top scorer for the Midshipmen was sophomore forward Richard Njoku, who scored 12 points off the bench. Navy’s five starters combined for just 22 points.
Despite the Terriers previously losing to Colgate, and with a tough game against third seed American University looming ahead in the schedule, Jones said his team is not so much focused on the tough opponents ahead, but more so on improving their play with each and every game.
“We’re really looking at just trying to get better … trying to improve, trying to take one possession at a time, one game at a time,” Jones said. “We’re just trying to play good basketball and play BU basketball, that’s what we’re trying to do.”
With four games remaining in the regular season before the conference tournament, Jones said the team is focused on getting better and preparing for the next game, while also setting sights on winning the Patriot League tournament.
“We go into every season trying to win the regular season and then we go into every season trying to win the conference tournament and get into the NCAA tournament,” Jones said. “This team is capable of doing it, but we have a long way to go before we need to focus on that right now. It’s just about getting better.”
The Terriers will travel to Easton, Pennsylvania, to face Lafayette College (16-9, 8-6 Patriot League) on Wednesday at 7 p.m.