By: Dave Souza
Opening the game with a 15-2 lead, the Boston University Men’s Basketball team watched as the Colgate Raiders battled back on Wednesday night in Case Gym, 67-58..
With the Terriers trailing by two with less than a minute remaining and a chance to take the lead, Will Goff pulled up from the three-point line, attempting a game-winning shot that would not fall as the Terriers (10-9, 5-2 PL) were narrowly defeated by Colgate (5-15, 3-4 PL).
The loss is the second straight in-conference defeat for BU, who opened Patriot League play with a 5-0 record.
“We had no rhythm offensively for most of the game,” surmised BU coach Joe Jones. “We could not find a flow and then I thought we just made a bunch of poor decisions shooting the ball, the types of shots that we were taking, [and] the patience we were playing with.”
The Terriers opened the game on a 15-2 run in the first 10 minutes. However, the Raiders would not go quietly as they found a groove and responded with a 16-2 run within the game’s next five minutes. Coach Jones, who has previously expressed his concern with his team’s effort after jumping out to big leads early, felt that his team let Colgate back into the game after BU’s early run.
“We just have a hard time of playing consistently, we just tend to relax,” said Jones. “I kept looking at the score and saying ‘shoot, we’ve got to be up by more than this.’ I thought we had the chance to put the game away right away, and we were just bad offensively tonight, we just didn’t do a good job.”
Inconsistent play has been the Achilles Heel of the Terriers all season. And while BU had rattled off five consecutive wins going into Monday night’s contest at Loyola Maryland, these back-to-back losses have not come as a complete shock to the Terrier coaching staff. Jones has frequently noted his team’s inconsistent play from game to game.
Usually a prolific three-point shooter, junior Cedric Hankerson went a combined 0-for-11 on his shots on Wednesday night, with his only point coming from the foul line. Senior Justin Alston saw a big reduction in minutes in the first half thanks to two early fouls.
A silver lining in the loss was the play of Eric Fanning, who recorded his second consecutive double-double with 21 points and 12 total rebounds.
After a win over Lehigh where the Terriers saw a 23 point lead whittled down to almost nothing, Jones told of how his team could easily flip from winning four straight, to losing three in a row. Now, with his team reeling from two straight losses and headed down to Lewisburg, Penn. to play Bucknell, Jones will have to correct some vital flaws BU has been showing.
“When we struggle offensively, it affects us defensively,” said Jones, criticizing his squad for a lack of mental toughness. “You can’t let that happen – you can have nights where you aren’t making shots, but you still have to find ways to win.
“We had a goal of getting 12 offensive rebounds. We had 7 for the game, we just weren’t going to the glass at all. You’ve got to make your own success, you’ve got to find different ways to win when you’re not scoring the ball, when you’re not making threes, you’ve got to find other ways to win. And right now we haven’t shown that we have answers for that when we don’t make shots.”
The Terriers will look to make shots and find a way to win on Saturday as they square off against the Bucknell Bison in a Patriot League matchup. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. at Bucknell’s Sojka Pavilion.