With Lafayette University knocking on the door two points down to the Boston University men’s basketball team with 27 seconds remaining, the Terriers managed to hold on to an 84-82 lead and claim a win in Easton, Pennsylvania, Wednesday night.
“If we would have made our foul shots, we would have had a nice cushion,” BU head coach Joe Jones said about the end of the game.
At the start of the tilt, BU (14-16, 7-10 Patriot League) jumped out to an 11-5 lead just before the 15 minute mark. A media timeout followed shortly after junior forward Max Mahoney made a layup in the paint to net the Terriers’ 11th point.
The Leopards (10-18, 7-10 Patriot League) went on to worsen their deficit to 14 points.They found themselves down 15-29 with just under nine minutes remaining in the half.
Lafayette would start repairing the early half damage with a 15-6 run, getting within five with just about four minutes remaining in the first half.
“We had a big run early in the game and in the latter part of the first half,” Jones said.
The half would end with the Terriers up 40-38 over the Leopards. Lafayette led the Terriers at the end of the first in shooting percentage in the paint, as well as at the free throw line.
Mahoney was the top scorer after the first half, tallying 15 points along to go with three rebounds. The New Jersey native would continue to stand out through the second half, grabbing 28 points by the end of the night.
This comes in three points shy of his season-record 31 points against Loyola University Maryland on Jan. 16.
The second half would begin with Lafayette grabbing their first lead of the night. With 19:18 on the clock, Leopard guard Justin Jaworski sniped a 3-pointer to put the Leopards ahead 41-40.
BU would quickly jump back ahead 42-41 off a layup from sophomore forward Sukhmail Mathon, but Lafayette would then go on a 15-8 run and jump ahead 56-50. With just over 11 minutes remaining, the Leopards were up to a 63-55 lead over BU.
The Terriers would creep back into the game, though, as freshman guard Garrett Pascoe nailed a 3-pointer with 5:38 remaining to give BU a 73-69 lead.
The two teams would remain knotted up until the final minute of the game, with the game being tied four times between Pascoe’s 3-pointer and the one-minute mark.
With 11 seconds remaining and the Leopards down by two, Jaworski intentionally fouled BU sophomore guard Javante McCoy to stop the Terriers from letting the clock run to zero.
McCoy missed both of the resulting free throws but would rebound his second missed shot. He was fouled by Jaworski again two seconds later.
McCoy again missed the two free shots he was granted, and this time Leopard forward Lukas Jarrett would claim the rebound off the second miss.
Jarrett attempted a 3-pointer with three seconds remaining to try to put the Leopards ahead, but the shot would miss, and BU kept the ball for the rest of regulation to walk away with an 84-82 win.
BU will try to ride the coattails of this win back to Boston as they take on the United States Naval Academy (10-18, 7-10 Patriot League) at Case Gym Saturday afternoon.
“Right now we’re just enjoying this one,” Jones said. “We’ll worry about Navy tomorrow.”