By: Dave Souza
Justin Alston notched his third career double-double as the Boston University Men’s Basketball team defeated Colgate 69-68 on Wednesday night to take sole possession of second place in the Patriot League. The win is the fourth consecutive for the Terriers and their sixth in their last seven contests.
The reigning Patriot League Player of the Week Alston led all players with 21 total points in the contest. Shooting just 23.8 percent from beyond the three-point line, the Terriers (16-11, 11-4 PL) were successful against Colgate (9-19, 7-8 PL) because of their ability to score down low. 36 of BU’s points – roughly half – came within the paint as big men like Alston, Max Mahoney, and Nick Havener were able to thrive.
Alston registered the double-double by collecting 10 rebounds to go along with his blackjack of points. His seven defensive boards led all players while his three offensive rebounds was tied with Mahoney for the most on the Terriers. The senior forward also blocked two shots in 24 minutes of action.
Mahoney scored 10 and grabbed five rebounds while Havener grabbed six boards and scored four total points. And despite being out-rebounded as a team, the Terriers were able to keep the Raiders at bay, never once letting Colgate take the lead.
In both contests against the Raiders this season, BU’s defense has been serviceable, but not overwhelmingly impressive. Both times, the Terriers held Colgate to 40 percent shooting from the field, a tick below the Raiders average of 43.5 percent – 227th in the NCAA.
Will Rayman has been the high-scorer for Colgate in both contests this season, scoring 21 back in the Raiders nine-point win back on January 18 and netting 20 on Wednesday night. And while the Terriers were able to hold Sean O’Brien to 11 after a 20-point performance last time, the play of Jordan Swoopshire – 18 points, five rebounds – was enough to help keep Colgate in it.
Despite going 5-for-23 (.238) beyond the arc, the Terriers notched their first win when finishing below a 30 percent in three-point shooting.
BU however did see a large uptick in their percentage from the field compared to last time out against the Raiders. In their home-loss, the Terriers shot 35.1 percent, going 20-for-57. On Wednesday night, the scarlet and white converted 23 of 51 shots, good for a 45.1 percentage, almost half a point higher than their season average.
The win coupled with a Navy loss puts the Terriers in second place in the Patriot League with three games remaining in the regular season. BU will next square off against Bucknell, who holds a one game lead over the Terriers in the conference. That contest gets under way Sunday afternoon at 12 p.m. at Case Gym.