By: Matt Doherty
Concluding their two-game Florida road trip, the Boston University men’s basketball team will take on Bethune-Cookman University Friday night in search of getting back to their winning ways.
BU had won three games in a row before falling to No. 10 Miami, 69-54, Tuesday night in Coral Gables.
Although the Hurricanes played without potential lottery pick Bruce Brown, the Terriers were tied at halftime and trailed by just single digits late in the second half. Head Coach Joe Jones said he was satisfied with his team’s play against the talented ‘Canes.
“I’m proud of the way our guys fought,” Jones said. “We fought, we scraped, we competed. We’ve started to battle and I think our guys are starting to believe that we can have a very good team. ”
Lonnie Walker killed any chance of a Terrier upset with a 26-point performance on 5-of-7 shooting from behind the arc.
Sophomore forward Max Mahoney led the way for BU with 12 points in 19 minutes. It was the second game in a row Mahoney scored in double digits.
“He’s been playing great,” Jones said of Mahoney. “We talked to him about picking it up. He had been struggling. He’s a killer and he’s had a great vibe. He’s a warrior. I’m proud of him.
Senior Cedric Hankerson was the only other Terrier in double digits. He scored 10 points.
BU struggled on the offensive end against the longer, stronger and more athletic Hurricane defense. The Terriers shot just 32 percent from the field and 28 percent from 3-point range for a season-low 54 points.
After spending the day Wednesday in Miami for a mansion boat tour, BU traveled up I-95 on Thursday for their matchup against Bethune-Cookman.
The Wildcats are 4-4 on the young season. They have two non-D1 wins against Florida College and Johnson-University Florida and two D1 wins vs. Grambling State and Jacksonville University.
They nearly pulled off an upset at Georgia Tech but fell to the Yellow Jackets, 65-62.
Bethune-Cookman is led by six-foot-four senior guard Brandon Tabb, who averages 19.1 points-per-game. Right behind him is forward Shawntrez Davis who averages a double-double at 15.1 points-per-game and 10.0 rebounds-per-game.
Tabb scored just 3 points on 1-of-16 shooting in the Wildcats win at Jacksonville on Nov. 30, but responded with a 26-point outburst a week ago against Florida Atlantic.
The Wildcats also receive contributions from Malik Maitland (10.5 ppg, 5.5 apg) and Isaiah Bailey (11.8 ppg).
BCU is a fast-pace and high-powered offense. They play at the fourth highest rate in the country in terms of time per possession, en route to a 82.0 ppg average.
Just two players on Bethune-Cookman’s roster were recruited on the team out of high school. First-year coach Ryan Riddley has 11 transfer on the squad with most of them coming by way of JUCO programs.
Tip-off from Moore Gymnasium is scheduled for 7 p.m. The game can be heard live on Terrier Sports Radio Network.