By: Chris Lynch
In a season of exciting play, Boston University found itself on the road in another close game against the Lafayette Leopards. Their defense controlled the first half, faltered in the second, and the Terrier offense found enough punch to get the win in Lafayette.
The Terrier offense did not have a great first half of play, only shooting 37.8% from the field and 18.2% from three point range, and BU didn’t get to the free throw line at all. The Terrier defense, however, controlled the game in the opening frame. Lafayette only shot 28.2% from the field and only 13.3% from three point line. The only consistent offensive performer for the Leopards was Matt Klinewski, who scored 10 points and collected a team high four rebounds. BU’s front court played an excellent defensive first half, with Blaise Mbargorba, Nathan Dieudonne, and Nick Havener all collecting a block each, and forcing the Leopards into bad shots. BU went up 30-22 at half time.
As the second half began, the team’s traded points, and BU kept their lead up. The Terriers held a 7 point lead with about 8 minutes left. At that point, the Leopard offense came to life. Lafayette went on a 19-6 run over the next six minutes of play, leading BU by 6 points with about 2 minutes remaining. BU held a lead in the section ne half and lost it for the third time in the last five games. Klinewski and Monty Boykins lead the Leopards on the offensive side with 21 points and 17 points respectively. Paulius Zalys put in a double double too, with 14 points and a team high 10 rebounds.
Now down six, BU needed to answer to stay in the game. A three pointer from John Papale cut the deficit in half, then Nathan Dieudonne took over the offense. He got a dunk to cut the deficit to two, then made two free throws to tie the game, finish a 9-3 run to end regulation, and force overtime. In overtime, Kyle Foreman came on strong, scoring 11 of his 13 points, and driving BU to an 89-82 victory.
The offenses for both teams turned up their efficiency in the second half, but BU held the advantage in a few categories in the second half. First off, BU attempted 24 free throws and made 22, shooting 91.7% from the charity stripe, and shooting 50% from the three point line for the second half. Second, BU outrebounded Lafayette 42-39, with Nathan Dieudonne leading both teams in rebounds with 17 total boards. He added 14 points for a balanced Terrier attack. Eric Fanning scored a team high 19 points, Cheddi Mosely collecteded 16 points, John Papale added 15 points. BU played to their identity of a balanced offense, with five of the eight players who got into the game scoring in double digits.
BU now climbs to 14-11 overall, and 7-5 in the Patriot League. BU is now 2-1 In overtime games on the season. That puts BU in a tie for second place, tied with Navy, Colgate, and Loyola. All those teams trail Bucknell, who is carrying a 10-2 record in conference. The rest of BU’s games will have an enormous impact impact on the conference standings and positioning for the tournament.
BU’s next game is at home on Wednesday, February 10, at 7pm vs the American Eagles.