By: Greg Levinsky
BOSTON — Following a season opening loss at home to the Northeastern Huskies, the Boston University men’s basketball team looks to achieve their first win of the season Monday night when they host the University at Albany Great Danes.
Head Coach Joe Jones looks to right the ship after faltering 65-59 to Northeastern on Friday night.
“It’s early in the season, you can’t get too high or too low,” Jones said. “We’ll play better and Albany is very good too.”
Albany comes off a season-opening 69-67 victory over defending MAAC champion Iona. The Great Danes raced out to an 8-2 lead, but the Gaels responded with an 11-0 run early in the second half to tie the game at 38.
Junior guard David Nichols hit four late free throws in the last 11 seconds for the Great Danes en route to a team-high 18 points. Senior forward Greg Stire added 15 points and 12 rebounds, and graduate forward Travis Charles notched 12 points and eight rebounds.
The Great Danes inhaled 19 offensive rebounds, and also connected on 17 of 19 free throw attempts.
Jones looks for the Terriers to emulate these numbers, as well as improve from eight offensive rebounds and shooting 8 of 16 from the free throw line in the Terriers season opener.
“We’ve got to get to the offensive glass better,” Jones said. “That tells the story right there, you can’t win going 50 percent from the line in a close game.”
Senior guard Cheddi Mosely paced the Terriers with 12 points and four rebounds in 21 minutes. Sophomore forward Max Mahoney and senior guard Cedric Hankerson also scored in double figures. Mahoney netted 11 points to go along with five rebounds and a block in 20 minutes of play. Hankerson finished with 10 points, but shot just 4-12 from the field.
Jones started two freshman, guard Javante McCoy and forward Walter Whyte. The duo combined for 16 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals. Freshman Sukhmail Mathon, the tallest player on the team at six-foot-ten, also got playing time with the second unit, and co-led the team with five boards in just nine minutes.
Despite improved play in the second half, the Terriers missed on seven of eight free throw attempts in the second half against the Huskies. Sophomore Tyler Scanlon took just three shots and didn’t score. A surprising stat line for a reigning Patriot League All-Rookie Team member.
“It’s not him, it could have happened to anyone else,” Jones said after the game. “Offensively we’re not smooth, when he’s open we’re not hitting him.”
The last time the two teams faced off was on Nov. 16, 2015 when the Terriers came away with a 69-64 victory. Mosely, a current senior guard, started and played 33 minutes in that contest.
BU has taken 10 straight from the Great Danes dating back to January 8, 2009 when the teams were America East rivals. The Terriers look to add another game to that streak and improve on their 19-8 all-time record against the Great Danes. When comparing both teams’ season debuts, BU outshot Albany in each of their first games. Both teams recorded a respectable 13 turnovers each as well.
Jones demonstrated a focus on execution against Albany. He said the Terriers did a lot of things right against Northeastern, but failed to complete plays.
“There were some things in our control, but we have to make those plays,” Jones said. “We gotta play more together, we’ve been full strength for a week now and it shows. We’ll get there.”