By: Dave Souza
After a gutsy win by Boston University men’s basketball over Holy Cross in late December, head coach Joe Jones expressed his view that his team was no longer one that lived and died by the three-pointer. Instead, the Terriers would win games with their ability to play well inside the arc and near the glass, added Jones.
However, on January 8, BU (9-7, 4-0 PL) proved that they still possess lethal three-point shooters. In their 91-75 win at Lafayette on Sunday, the Terriers exploded from beyond that arc, draining a school-record 18 threes en route to their fourth straight conference victory.
“We were just moving the ball well,” said junior guard Cedric Hankerson, who accounted for a third of the team’s threes. “We started off kind of slow in the first half and were giving up a lot of second chance points…once we started to get our defense going, I think that’s what really got our offense going.”
Hankerson and company led by nine about midway through the second half before they began a momentous 20-5 run over the next five minutes. In that span, the Terriers rattled off four consecutive three-pointers, three by Hankerson and one by junior guard Eric Johnson.
Five different members of the scarlet and white contributed to the 18 threes; Hankerson led the way, going six for 10 and led BU in scoring with total 21 points. In total the Terriers converted at a 52.9 percent rate from beyond the arc, going 18 for 34.
And while Coach Jones has expressed his comfort with playing around 11 guys in games, he delved from the usual by giving all 13 dressed members of his squad minutes against the Leopards.
The Terriers cashed in on 14 points off of turnovers in the contest after managing to nail down nine steals in Easton, Penn. Kyle Foreman led all players with four, bringing his total to nine steals over the past two games.
“[Kyle’s] one of the best defenders on the team,” Hankerson said. “Once we see him going hard, going after everything on defense then that just flows over to the rest of the team and motivates us to go even harder and give even more effort on defense.”
Despite the offensive clinic put on by Lafayette’s Matt Klinewski, who led all scorers with 34 points, Foreman and the rest of BU were able to keep the Leopards offense trailing the entire contest.
The win pushes the Terriers win streak to four, the second time they’ve rattled off a win streak of that length since opening the season at 4-1. However, much like Coach Jones, who cautioned reporters after a win over Lehigh to not assume BU’s consistency is here to stay, Hankerson and the team are looking for more than just four league wins.
“We just have to approach the game like our backs are up against the wall because as soon as we get complacent then we start to give less effort,” said Hankerson. “We have to keep that chip on our shoulder, keep that edge, and after one game’s over, focus on the next one.”
The Terriers will now head home in preparation for Wednesday night’s game versus American, who eliminated BU from the Patriot League tournament last season. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Case Gym.