BU and Lehigh combined for a dramatic and exciting game from the Case Gymnasium on Sunday. Both teams dueled down the stretch and showed how entertaining Patriot League basketball can be.
The Mountain Hawks opened up on the attack, holding the lead for almost the entire first half. BU only tied the game twice, at 2-2 and at 24-24. Lehigh closed the first half with a 39-35 lead behind 8 offensive rebounds, and strong performances from Jesse Chuku and Kyle Leufroy. Cheddi Mosely’s 10 first half points and a balanced attack from everyone else kept BU close for the first half.
When the second half began, BU opened up on a 13-4 run, and held a 12 point lead with just about ten minutes left to play. Similar to their last home game against Bucknell, they lost the lead late, and traded points with the Mountain Lions. Lehigh turned to Tim Kempton, the reigning Patriot League Player of the Year. Kempton almost single-handedly won the game late. He ended with 24 points and 11 rebounds, the most of both categories for any player. BU found it hard to answer Kempton on the defensive end, but found a multitude of answers on the offensive end.
Cheddi Mosely caught fire in the early part of the second half, scoring a team high 18 points while shooting 5-7 from the field and 3-5 from three-point range. Nathan Dieudonne had many strong lay-ups in traffic, and logged 12 points and 6 rebounds. Eric Fanning was clutch throughout, but never more so than with 13 seconds left in the game. BU trailed by three, and John Papale air balled a three-point attempt, but Fanning got to the ball, put it in, and got fouled. He made the free throw for his 16th point of the game, and tied the score. After a Lehigh turnover, BU had one last opportunity to win the game, and the most respected Terrier took the spotlight.
Earlier in the game, John Papale moved into second place on the list of career BU three-pointers with 256. With 2.2 seconds left he inbounded the ball looking for Eric Fanning. Lehigh knocked the ball out of bounds, giving BU an inbound in front of the Terrier bench. The team reversed the roles, with Fanning inbounding the ball to Papale. He dribbled through traffic, threw up a floater, and sank the shot. He finished with 10 points, and added another memory to his already storied career at BU.
BU won their second game in dramatic fashion on national television, 75-73. Coach Jones explained that the game was remarkable because they finished with momentum and showed that they have grown up in conference play. Coach also said that Cheddi Mosely has not practiced in weeks, and was talented enough to create enough shots off his own dribble, and put BU ahead in the second half.
BU will take to the road for their next two games. They travel to Annapolis to play at the second placed Navy Midshipmen at 7 PM on Wednesday night, and go to Lafayette to play the Leopards at 2 PM on Saturday.