Boston University men’s basketball took the short trip to Worcester to complete a season sweep of conference rival the College of the Holy Cross. With the 70-60 win, BU (12-16, 5-10 Patriot League) snapped a four-game losing streak.
After defeating the Crusaders (14-14, 5-10 Patriot League) just a few weeks prior in Boston, the Terriers put the Hart Center nets to work Monday night. They shot 14-27 from three and 47.3 percent overall on the way to the 10-point win.
“It was good to see it all come together for the guys,” BU head coach Joe Jones said. “Guys have been putting a ton of time in [shooting the ball]. [We] maintained a positive attitude, the energy’s been good, and we haven’t gotten too down on ourselves.”
BU got off to a hot start from three, making 8 of 15 in the first half. Sophomore guard Andrew Petcash made three of his six attempts on the way to a team-high nine points at halftime.
The Terriers jumped out to a 26-20 lead after Petcash’s third three of the half, holding a 37-29 lead at the break. Throughout the half and the game, the ball movement was crisp against a tough Holy Cross zone.
BU almost never stopped rotating the ball around the court to find open shooters. They drove in the lane in order to kick it out for open threes and tossed the ball proficiently around the perimeter, almost never allowing the Crusader defense to settle in.
“We shared [the ball] and we moved it,” Jones said. “[The ball movement] was great to see.”
BU was also able to cause havoc on the defensive end. They forced enough open shots and turnovers to get a few easy baskets in transition.
“I thought our guys were locked in [on defense],” Jones said. “Defensively, we’ve struggled. But tonight was a step in the right direction.”
To start the second half, freshman guard Jonas Harper made sure the Terriers maintained their halftime advantage.
After fellow freshman guard Garrett Pascoe hit back-to-back threes to stretch the BU lead to 11, Harper outdid him by knocking down three consecutive threes for the Terriers.
In the blink of an eye, the standout freshman had ballooned the BU lead to 65-44 with eight minutes to go. Harper would finish with a game-high 22 points on 6-8 shooting from three off the bench and two steals to earn Turnpike Trophy MVP honors.
“He was great — he played great tonight,” Jones said of Harper. “Overall, I thought we played great.”
Holy Cross would cut the lead down to nine with about two minutes to go, but the extended run turned out to be too little too late for the Crusaders.
On a positive note for the losing side, center Jehyve Floyd finished with 18 points, 12 rebounds and five volleyball-spike blocks for Holy Cross. He caused problems all night inside for BU, though not enough trouble to stop the shooting clinic the Terriers put on in the second half.
Besides Harper’s standout performance, junior forwards Tyler Scanlon and Max Mahoney also contributed to the win. Mahoney had 11 points and 12 rebounds, doing enough to balance out Floyd’s dominant performance for the Crusaders.
Scanlon finished with six points, six rebounds and a career-high eight assists. He was the primary ball handler in the half court and created opportunities in the middle of the Holy Cross zone.
The win was representative of newly built momentum for the team, Jones said. With just three games remaining in the regular season, the Terriers currently sit tied for last in the conference with Holy Cross.
“We’ve built some momentum, even on Saturday [after the close loss to Lehigh],” Jones said. “I told the team, ‘If we play all out, I see great things for us.’ Tonight we played all out, [and] it was great to watch.”