By: Greg Levinsky
Boston University junior forward Tyler Scanlon poured in a career-high 28 points, but his Terriers fell 79-72 to Lafayette College Wednesday at Case Gym.
Host BU saw its two-game winning streak snapped to the visiting Leopards who entered on a four-game skid. Lafayette shot 54.4 percent from the floor and 43.5 percent from distance, taking the final of 15 lead changes with just under five minutes left.
“There were plays that we needed to win that game, to win a league game,” Scanlon said. “Every game is hard, and we just didn’t make them.”
After going six-plus minutes with scoring, BU junior forward Max Mahoney (10 points) got his first rest and returned with force. He scored three straight buckets to spark a 10-2 run and parlay BU’s first multi-possession lead. Up by four with 8:57 to go in the first half, Mahoney then picked up his second foul and went to the bench for a few minutes.
Boston University head coach Joe Jones said they to Mahoney enough, but the team’s leading scorer shot 5-of-13 from the floor.
“I think they did a decent job of guarding him at the rim,” Jones said. “I just think we struggled with our ability to focus and play with that edge.”
Lafayette (6-16, 3-8) took advantage, outscoring the Terriers to briefly retake the lead. Both sides traded buckets for the majority of the first half, with Lafayette leading 39-38 at the half.
Both teams shot over 50 percent from beyond the arc in the opening half, with Lafayette going 7-of-13 from distance. The Leopards were limited to just 3-of-10 shooting from beyond the arc in the second half, but hit timely shots down the stretch.
“We had no effect on the shots,” Jones said. “They seemed to play pretty freely and make one on one plays against us consistently.”
Scanlon scored 11 points in the first half, but performed even better in the second. He scored 17 of his 28 points after the first half buzzer, helping keep it close with a layup, 3-pointer and traditional three point play early in the second half.
BU took a narrow three point lead, 55-52 at the under 12 minute media timeout, but Lafayette hung around and retook the lead. After trading leads again multiple times, Leopards sophomore guard Justin Jaworski hit a 3-pointer and followed with a layup for an eight point advantage with just 66 seconds to play.
“They pass the ball better than anybody,” said. “They’re kind of a throwback team. Most teams don’t play like that anymore. They’re phenomenal moving without the ball.”
BU sophomore Javante McCoy (11 points) followed with a 3-pointer on the other end, but Jaworski (12 points) found Lukas Jarrett (13 points, 9 rebounds) for a score for one of his game-high six assists. The Terriers (11-13, 4-7 Patriot League) couldn’t cut the deficit to a single possession in the final minute. BU had three chances on their final possession, converting on none to seal the Lafayette victory.
“Every play matters,” Scanlon said. “Every play can change the momentum of the game, and they made a few more of those than we did.”
Greg Levinsky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GregLevinsky