By: Greg Levinsky
There were some positives in Boston University men’s basketball’s 84-79 loss to Lehigh Saturday at Case Gym. It was the team’s fourth straight loss, but BU head coach Joe Jones remains cautiously optimistic about his squad. They made a heck of a comeback.
Down by 19 points with 8:13 left, the Terriers (11-16, 4-10 Patriot League) cut the deficit to two points with a chance to tie. They got a good look, and although the shot rimmed out, Jones saw some much-needed effort from his team.
“I’m proud of the way they fought and battled,” Jones said. “You don’t get anything for that, but I’m still hopeful that it’s going to lead to good things down the road.”
BU with a chance to take the lead, but a Petcash 3 rims out. pic.twitter.com/Pj2qJTMkwr
— Greg Levinsky (@GregLevinsky) February 16, 2019
On the final shot:
“Felt good about that because you got a great look when they went zone. We moved it and got a great look,” Jones said. “We actually executed better down the stretch a lot better than we did throughout the game. It’s a shame.”
BU Sophomore Javante McCoy missed the game with an ankle sprain sustained in practice. The 6-foot-5 guard is the team’s third leading scorer, averaging 11.5 points per game.
Petchash got his first collegiate start in place of McCoy. Petcash filled it up early, scoring all 11 of his points in the first seven minutes of play.
His final 3-pointer of his early charge gave BU a 16-14 lead, but Lehigh responded with an 13-0 run to take their first double-digit lead.
The Mountain Hawks (17-8, 10-4) performed well for the remainder of the half buoyed by a strong showing from beyond the arc. After starting out with four straight misses, the nation’s top shooting team from distance went 7-of-11, including a buzzer beater by Jordan Cohen (13 points), for a 45-32 halftime advantage.
Tyler Scanlon’s 3-pointer with 3:06 to play cut the deficit back to 10. The junior forward finished with a team-high 19 points, 6 assists and 5 steals. BU furthered its comeback as freshman Jonas Harper (11 points) hit two big 3-pointers, the second coming with 1:04 left to cut the deficit to 78-73.
“The one positive thing that’s happening right now is that we’re getting some experience, and we’re playing young guys,” Jones said. “Guys are competing and contributing.”
A pair of free throws from BU redshirt freshman Alex Vilarino (12 points, 4 assists) made it a single possession game, and after Lehigh split attempts on the other end, Vilarino found junior Max Mahoney (17 points) for a layup to make it a two point game.
Lehigh’s Lance Tejada (17 points, 6 assists) missed two free throws, and Petcash had his chance to take the lead, but his corner jumper rimmed out. James Karnik (14 points) hit both attempts on the ensuing possession after getting fouled to seal the game for Lehigh.
“I don’t know if we’re a 4-10 team in our league,” Jones said. “I don’t really feel that way, but we also haven’t won…we just haven’t put it together.”
Greg Levinsky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GregLevinsky