The Boston University men’s basketball team met Colgate University for a weekend series Jan. 9 and 10. The Terriers fell to the Raiders Saturday in an offensive shootout 79-86 and dropped the sequential game in a 45-89 rout.
The Terriers entered the weekend with a 1-1 record after a split series with Holy Cross Jan. 4 and 5. This weekend’s two-game matchup was the first time the teams met since the Terriers upset the Raiders in Hamilton, New York and won the Patriot League Championship.
Entering the season, the Terriers were ranked No. 1 in the Patriot League Preseason Poll with 148 points and 10 first-place votes. The Raiders were a close second with 142 points and eight first-place votes.
Game one tipped off at Case Center in Boston. The Terriers’ starting lineup traded one injured star for another — junior forward Walter Whyte made his season debut, while junior guard Jonas Harper was on the bench with an apparent foot injury.
The Raiders opened the game on the back of Patriot League Preseason Player of the Year Jordan Burns, who scored 11 points alone in the first five minutes of play. The Terriers committed five personal fouls in the same stretch.
The Raiders closed the first half with an 11-point lead, leading the Terriers 53-42. Burns scored 22 of his 26 points in the first half. Terriers head coach Joe Jones said he was unhappy with his team’s play in the first half.
“I thought that stint in the first half really killed us,” Jones said in Saturday’s press conference. “We went back to what we looked like against Holy Cross and took some erratic shots.”
The Terriers returned in the second half, outscoring the Raiders 37-33. Despite limiting the Raiders in shots and shooting percentage, the Terriers could not overcome the 11-point halftime deficit.
“I think this is a game we can build off of and learn from,” Jones said, “and hopefully tomorrow night we’re a little bit better.”
Whyte, who had previously been absent from the court this season, scored 15 points and 11 rebounds in the losing effort. Despite the loss, Jones was excited to have Whyte back.
“The kid literally has practiced twice in the month of December, and he played 35 minutes tonight,” Jones said. “He played his heart out.”
Game two Sunday night was no better for the Terriers, and they fell 89-45. The Raiders outscored the Terriers 36-24 in the first half and 53-21 in the second.
Colgate guard Burns was limited to just 2 points in the opening 20 minutes of the game, but the Raiders were able to spread points around and take an impressive lead.
“Give all the credit to Colgate,” Jones said in a Sunday press conference. “I thought they were terrific, being able to play back-to-back nights. We were down  at the half and … weren’t mentally strong enough to push through it.”
The Terriers shot a rough 25% from the field, and 1-29 — 3.4% — from beyond the arc. The squad was without Harper for the second consecutive game, and did not play senior guard Javante McCoy, who was also sidelined with an injury.
“We just haven’t had the guys together to be able to work through it,” Jones said. “We’ve got some guys playing completely out of their roles and trying to step up in ways that just they’re not ready to do.”
Sunday’s drubbing was the fourth game in six days for the Terriers. After splitting a series with Holy Cross Jan. 4 and 5, the Terriers are yet to be at full strength for a game.
Terriers senior forward Sukhmail Mathon led in points Sunday, earning 13 points and 11 rebounds for his second career double-double. Jones praised Mathon for the work he put in this past offseason.
“[Mathon’s] been terrific,” Jones said. “He’s really committed. He’s always been that way though.”
The Terriers will play Army West Point Jan. 16 and 17. With multiple days to practice and rest, the Terriers may be operating at full capacity for the first time this season.