By: Chris Lynch
Boston University ran its winning streak to five games with a 71-51 victory over the American University Eagles on Wednesday night. The Terriers did so behind a sharp offensive first half and a gritty second half, and remain in a three way tie for second place in the Patriot League.
BU shot 71.4% from the field in the first half, and hit all six of its attempted three point field goals. They took a 41-29 lead into halftime and controlled the offensive pace of the game. They hit on all cylinders in the first half. There was, however, one major loss in the first half. With 2:04 to play in the first half, Nathan Dieudonne came down awkwardly in an apparent ankle injury, and held his leg in pain. He left the game and did not return. BU is already riddled with a bevy of injuries, and now to add Dieudonne to the list of injured players is even more problematic.
Without their defensive anchor in the paint and with no energy, BU watched their offensive outburst in the first half almost go for naught in the first 12 minutes of the second half. BU shot only 2-13 from the field in that time, and watched their 12 point lead disintegrate to just two with eight minutes to play.
A smart defensive adjustment by assistant coach Curtis Wilson to go to a matchup zone defense shut down the Eagle attack, and gave the Terriers transition offense and enough scoring to make the game look not as close as it was. Eric Fanning, who finished as the game’s leading scorer with 25 points, praised the coaching staff for the decision to switch the defense and for their calm and collected demeanor after Dieudonne’s injury.
Coach Jones credited the full staff with a team victory after the game, and praised his players for toughness. John Papale played 37 minutes of the game even though he had an ankle injury. He didn’t have a great game as a result of the injury, but he still played hard for the whole time. Cheddi Mosely has not practiced in weeks because he’s so banged up from the season, and he scored 20 points on 4-7 from three point range.
Coach Jones also said that he has no information on Nate Dieudonne’s injury except that one of the toughest players in the Patriot League had to leave the game. He will be evaluated and his condition will be determined soon. Some Terriers are getting healthy, though. Eric Johnson might be able to return in a week, and Will Goff’s condition has improved.
BU takes to the road to play at Loyola Maryland on Saturday in its next game at 1pm.