The Boston University men’s basketball team dropped its third consecutive game in a 77-73 road loss to North Carolina State University on Saturday afternoon.
The Terriers (4-4) left Raleigh, North Carolina victims of a three-game road sweep, as they previously lost to Saint Peter’s University last Monday and narrowly fell to the University of Connecticut on Wednesday by a score of 51-49.
BU kept it close against the Wolfpack (6-2), but head coach Joe Jones said the loss came down to missed free throws and a failure to box out.
“We gave [NC State] way too many offensive rebounds in the second half and missed our foul shots,” Jones said. “For the game, we went 12-for-23 from the free throw line and gave up too many second-chance points. We played a close game, but that’s what it came down to.”
Both teams played physical basketball, as NC State and BU committed 22 and 25 fouls, respectively.
Costly Terrier fouls gave the Wolfpack easy scoring opportunities, as they had more free-throw attempts (36) than their opponent (23), and as a result, went 22-of-36 from the charity stripe.
BU freshman guard Destin Barnes and junior forward Nick Havener each fouled out, while senior guard Eric Fanning received a technical foul in the contest.
For the Wolfpack, freshman Ted Kapita and guard Terry Henderson each fouled out.
The Terriers also struggled from the 3-point line, shooting 7-of-28 for the game and 3-of-17 in the first half, while NC State went 7-for-20 from long range.
Henderson (23 points on 8-of-14 shooting), guard Torin Dorn (22 points, 11 rebounds) and freshman Dennis Smith Jr. (15 points) led NC State and each played nearly the entire contest.
Despite giving up 77 points and allowing three double-digit scorers, Jones was happy with his team’s defense.
“I was really pleased with our defense,” Jones said. “Anytime you play against the ACC, you know they’re going to score. They put up a lot of points tonight, but it’s all about their shooting percentage, and they only shot 42 percent. I was happy with our effort because we forced them to miss their first shots, but we couldn’t stop them from scoring on second-chance opportunities.”
Fanning (16 points), freshman forward Tyler Scanlon (15 points), senior forward Justin Alston (12 points) and junior guard Cheddi Mosely (12 points) led BU’s offense.
Scanlon had his best game in a BU uniform, easing the pain of Havener’s fouling out. The Chantilly, Virginia native showed his versatility, grabbing nine rebounds and shot 3-of-8 from distance in 27 minutes of play.
“[Scanlon] has done a nice job this season, especially rebounding,” Jones said. “He had nine of them tonight, and he made a lot of good offensive plays at some big moments.”
One of his big plays came early, as he knocked down a 3-pointer with 12 seconds left in the first half to cut NC State’s lead to just six after it had led by as many as 13.
The Terriers carried that momentum into the second half, tying the game on a Scanlon jumper with 16:56 remaining and taking a 44-42 lead on a driving layup from sophomore guard Kyle Foreman just 31 seconds later.
However, after falling behind, the Wolfpack went on a 19-3 run to take a commanding 61-47 lead with 9:48 remaining, and the Terriers would not come back from that.
Despite their recent road woes, Jones said he saw the trip as an opportunity for growth.
“We gotta be able to look at the things we did do well and build on them,” Jones said. “We can’t just look at them as losses. We have a lot of respect for Saint Peter’s [4-3], UConn [3-4] and NC State. We have to accept the losses and look at the ways we can improve as we move forward.”