Just when things were looking up for the Boston University men’s basketball team after a two-game winning streak, the run of success came to screeching halt on Wednesday night at Case Gym.
As an irritating buzzing noise pierced the The Roof, the Terriers (11-13, 4-7 Patriot League) had something hanging over them all night as they fell 79-72 to Lafayette. The Leopards (6-16, 3-8 PL) got good looks whenever they wished, making 54 percent of their field goal attempts while canning 10 threes.
“Just didn’t make the winning plays that we needed to win that game,” BU junior forward Tyler Scanlon, who had 28 points and seven rebounds, said.
Lafayette entered this game on a four-game losing streak, having allowed over 90 points the last two games. This was a game BU was supposed to win on paper. On the court, it was a different story. This has been a theme for BU over an uneven season that has contained a plethora of puzzling losses.
“It’s hard with a young team because sometimes they feel like it’s the end of the world when we lose a game,” Scanlon said. “Every game matters.”
BU has the talent and the fortitude to handle any team in the Patriot League. I wouldn’t be surprised if they went into Lewisburg, Pa. on Saturday afternoon and knocked off conference-leading Bucknell. The Terriers already proved they could do that last month when they handed the Bison one of their two league losses in a thrilling affair at Case Gym.
“At the end of the day, we want to play our best basketball in late February and early March,” Scanlon said. “We want to be perfect towards the end of the season rather than now.”
The cards were lined up in BU’s favor on Wednesday night. Scanlon had his best game of the season and teammates Max Mahoney and Javante McCoy recorded double figures as well. Normally, when these three all score in double figures, this team is poised for a victory.
However, they were unable to make winning plays at the end of the contest, giving Lafayette multiple avenues to steal the game. The Terriers trailed by just two with 4:37 remaining, but they could not get any closer. McCoy missed a layup and Scanlon’s jumper went awry before Lafayette’s Paulius Zalys made it a four-point game with 3:14 left.
The Terriers had a few more opportunities to slice the deficit, but Scanlon missed a three-pointer and the Leopards fought for two offensive rebounds on the ensuing possession before Justin Jaworski increased the Lafayette lead to a decisive 72-65 with two minutes left.
“They got more 50-50 balls than us,” BU head coach Joe Jones said. “If people are going to walk into this gym and get more 50-50 balls and we let them shoot 54 percent, it’s going to be hard to win any game.”