The Boston University men’s basketball team tipped off its first away game of the season at the University of Vermont in a 62-47 loss to the defending America East champion Wednesday night.
The Terriers (1-2, 0-0 Patriot League) were fighting uphill the entire game, with the only lead of the night for the team having been in the first minutes of the game at the 2-0 score mark.
BU head coach Joe Jones said the message going into Wednesday’s game was competing hard offensively against a difficult team.
“We just kind of wanted to play with toughness and then on the offensive end we wanted to do the same thing,” Jones said. “We wanted to be able to play offensively tough in terms of just staying with what we do and doing it at a high level, but I thought, you know, Vermont, you gotta tip your hat — they did a great job defensively against us.”
Both teams struggled offensively throughout the game. BU shot 29.8 percent from the field, making just 17 field goals the entire game and 25 percent from three-point range. The last time that BU shot under 30 percent from the floor was in 2012 at Stony Brook University. The Catamounts matched BU’s performance from three-point range, making just 25 percent of shots beyond the arc on 20 attempts. Vermont shot 43.4 percent from the field overall.
This is the first game since 2006 that BU failed to have a player score double digits. BU sophomore Walter Whyte, the reigning Patriot League Player of the Week, led the Terriers in scoring with just nine points, while sophomore guard Jonas Harper and senior forward Max Mahoney each recorded seven points in the game. Mahoney led the team in rebounds and assists, with 12 and four, respectively.
Jones said the game was “one of the worst offensive games we’ve had in the last few years,” adding that he believes the Terriers lost tonight on the offensive end more than the defensive end.
UVM senior forward Anthony Lamb led Vermont offensively in the first half, recording eight points, six rebounds, and three assists in those first 20 minutes. Vermont did well penetrating the paint, with 12 of Vermont’s 30 points coming from the paint in the first half. Lamb, who was unanimously named the America East Player of the Year last season, ended the night with a double-double, recording 15 points and 16 rebounds. This season, Lamb is averaging 16.7 points per game in three games.
BU was able to execute relatively well offensively in the first half and create good scoring opportunities. However, the Terriers experienced difficulty at the free throw line, going four of nine from the line in the first half.
The second half saw BU experience a downhill offensive performance, going long periods of time without scoring. Vermont’s offensive mindset changed by not settling for outside shots and seeking higher-percentage shots.
The Terriers have eleven underclassmen on the roster this year and Jones said the team still has some sorting out to do as far as integrating all the guys in a cohesive way.
“We need to figure ourselves out a little bit … We have some new pieces with [Whyte] coming in now, and the way we’re playing is a little different with him in there,” Jones said. “This is gonna happen; you’re gonna go on the road — you’re not gonna play well, you’re gonna play well — it’s gonna happen. The whole thing is kind of learning and trying to figure out what we can do a better job of, how we can generate better shots on the offensive end and then keep getting better on the defensive end.”
The Terriers will come back to Boston to host the University of New Hampshire Wildcats at Case Gym on November 16 with a 4 p.m. start time on NESN.