By: Chris Lynch
The Boston University Terriers suffered the toughest loss of their season on Tuesday night against the Black Knights of Army. BU had many opportunities to shoot their way back into the game late, but missed those opportunities. The loss dropped BU to 10-7 in the Patriot League, allowing Lehigh to claim a home playoff game ahead of BU.
BU and Army are two of the better offensive teams in the Patriot League, and the game took that shape early. Army jumped out to a quick 9-2 lead to open up the first half, behind leading scorer and potential Conference Player of the Year Tanner Plomb’s early assault. BU answered back with a few runs of their own, behind strong performances from Cheddi Mosely and Eric Johnson, who played in his first game since January 13 against American. Army closed out the first half with an offensive flurry, taking a 42-39 lead into the locker room.
Inside a difficult loss was another painful loss. Freshman point guard Kyle Foreman hurt his ankle early in the second half, and BU never fully got momentum behind them after Foreman went down. Eric Johnson took over the point guard responsibility, and shot 4-4 from three point range, scoring 12 points, to provide some offense and lift for the team. However, that wasn’t enough to overcome an avalanche of missed shots and a bevy of fouls committed by the BU front court.
BU shot only 25% from three point range and 28.2% from the field in the second half, as many of the Terrier’s reliable scorers went cold. John Papale scored 4 points, going 2-9 from the field in 38 minutes of play. Kyle Foreman went 1-6 from the field and Nick Havener missed every shot he took before fouling out of the game. Even Cheddi Mosely and Eric Fanning had poor shooting nights despite getting 18 and 20 points each.
Cheddi missed every three pointer he attempted and Eric hit one of five three pointers on the game. Both also missed easy layups and had opportunities to shoot BU back into the game but missed. Eric Fanning explained after the game that he missed shots that he normally makes, and BU was otherwise in the game until the end. Coach Jones agreed, and elaborated on the need to keep players as fresh as possible, especially Papale, who has played at least 35 minutes in all but six games this season.
There were still many positives to take from the loss, though. First, BU proved that they have a sense of resilience that can keep them in any game regardless of personnel. Second, they could play with Army’s offense on the defensive end.
Despite not scoring a single point, Nick Havener pulled down a game and career high 15 rebounds, including a game high 5 offensive rebounds. Dylan Haines showed a good shooting touch, knocking down 2-3 three point shots, and collected one of BU’s two blocks in the game. Eric Johnson showed he can man the point, and BU had shot opportunities, unlike in their trip to Bucknell Sunday.
There just wasn’t enough to overcome poor shooting overall, and two double-double performances from Army. Plomb tallied 16 points and 10 rebounds while Kevin Ferguson netted 18 points and grabbed a team high 14 rebounds.
BU has one more regular season game, at home against Holy Cross on Saturday at noon. The last game of the season will determine BU’s seed in the Patriot League tournament and whether or not they will have a home playoff game.