Basketball, Sports

Men’s basketball team bounces back with dominant 96-51 win over Johnson & Wales

Graduate student Walter Whyte making a shot during the men’s basketball game against Johnson & Wales University on Monday. The Terriers won 96-51, bouncing back from their loss to the University of Connecticut last Friday. BELLA JONES/DFP STAFF

The Boston University men’s basketball team dominated in a 96-51 win over Johnson & Wales University.

After a tough loss to the University of Connecticut last Friday, it was important for the Terriers (2-1) to bounce back against a Division III opponent.

“You play these games to try to build some togetherness, because now it’s a game on the schedule that you hope that everybody gets a chance to play in,” said head coach Joe Jones.

The Wildcats (0-1) scored on the first possession of the night, and that two-point lead in the first 51 seconds of the game was the only time the Wildcats had a scoring advantage.

Reigning Patriot League Player of the Week and graduate student forward Walter Whyte led the team in points with 12 in only 14 minutes on the floor.

Otherwise, the bench got their fair share of playing time, scoring 55 points. A total of 15 players got time to rotate into the game for BU. 

“It’s hard for a team, for JWU, to sustain play against Division I players. You’re playing against 13 of them rotating in and out,” said Jones. “We just tried to wear them down, mentally and physically just try to wear them down, and we’re going to try to do that a lot with our depth.”

In a game where so many players got a chance to get on the court, many of them used the opportunity to prove themselves.

Terriers senior guard Ethan Brittain-Watts had a “quietly outstanding game,” Jones said. He started the game and played over 17 minutes, collecting a team-leading +41 plus-minus and going 4-5 with 11 points.

“I don’t know if there’s gonna be a better plus-minus than that this whole year,” said Jones. 

In addition to Whyte and Brittain-Watts, graduate student guard Jonas Harper impressed. After a slow start in the first 10 minutes for the Terriers, Jones said Harper’s energy was instrumental in the team’s improvement, particularly in their intensity.

BU racked up 22 assists and forced 18 turnovers from the Wildcats. Those turnovers resulted in 26 points for the Terriers, holding JWU to just nine points off of their own 13 turnovers.

Every JWU player that stepped onto the court had a negative plus-minus except for junior guard Mike Rogers, who was only on the floor for eight-and-a-half minutes.

Wildcats sophomore forward Jonah Phang had a plus-minus of -50, but he played over 31 minutes and made his impact known with four blocked shots.

The Terriers struggled to finish throughout the game, according to Jones. That struggle cost them the game against UConn on Nov. 11, a team that forced them to drive the ball in order to score.

Instead, BU relied on making threes. They were successful less than 39% of the time in the first half, but improved to 50% in the second half, going 8-for-16.

Despite the blowout score, Jones says he sees room for improvement.

“You gotta use these games, and you hope you can win them all,” said Jones. “I think we have to grow and improve and use the games as a tool to learn.”

BU will look to build on this big win on Nov. 17 when they face off against the University of Hartford at Case Gym at 7 p.m.

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