By: Matt Doherty
The lone upperclassmen in the rotation, juniors Max Mahoney and Tyler Scanlon displayed veteran prowess and poise Tuesday night in the Terriers’ 79-60 win over UMass Lowell.
Mahoney dominated in the paint, finishing with 23 points and 10 rebounds on 10-13 shooting. His classmate was equally impressive, pouring in 20 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists on 70 percent shooting.
The duo drove the show for the BU offense, which had its third-highest scoring output of the season and shot 53.4 percent from the field.
“It’s important to stay within the offense,” Scanlon said. “I think we just trusted the offense and those scoring opportunities came from that. When we’re working together it works real well for us.”
Mahoney dropped 29 points and 11 rebounds against UMass Lowell a season ago, and he was the focal point of the offense from the opening tip on Tuesday. The Terriers gave Mahoney a number of post touches of early on. He responded with 15 first-half points.
“We’ve just tried to put an emphasis on that,” Jones said of playing in the paint.
Scanlon chipped in 10 points in the opening stanza as the pair combined to score 25 of BU’s first 32 points.
In the second half, they helped balloon the two-point halftime lead to as many 23 points. With point guard Garrett Pascoe in foul trouble, Scanlon became a primary ball handler and consistently worked in the pick-and-roll with Mahoney. They hooked up on an alley-top layup late in the second half, the highlight of their splendid night.
“Tyler down the stretch threw me one pass, eye contact across the court, just threw it up at the rim and let me go get it,” Mahoney said. “Plays like that just made it easier for me.”
With the graduation of Eric Fanning and Cedric Hankerson over the last two years, Mahoney and Scanlon’s roles in the offense have increased accordingly. This season, they are the go-to guys for the first time in their BU’s careers and are taking advantage of the opportunity.
Both are averaging career-highs in scoring. Mahoney is now scoring 15.0 points per game while Scanlon has added 14.2 points per game.
“Tyler’s a whole different level player now than he was last year,” Jones said. “He can just do way more things. He’s quick, he’s agile, he’s more athletic. He’s just a better offensive player.”
Mahoney, who averaged 12.9 points per game last season, has also elevated his player to a higher level this season with Tuesday being his best performance to date.
“I thought my teammates did a good job of putting me in position to score,” Mahoney said. “We did a great job of getting the ball into the post. The more touches the more points I’m lucky to score.”