By: Ethan Fuller
BOSTON, MA — Heading south to warmer weather, Boston University men’s basketball (3-5) lost both contests in the Cancun Challenge Mayan Division this week. The two matchups featured contrasting yet stinging defeats: a 55-78 rout at the hands of Northern Colorado (3-4) on Tuesday and a 73-76 Wednesday nail-biter against the University of Tennessee-Martin (3-4).
Each game saw vastly different offensive performances from the Terriers. Against Northern Colorado, BU struggled, converting just 38.6 percent of their shots. Though senior Max Mahoney led the team with 16 points and sophomore Alex Vilarino added 13, no other Terrier made more than two field goals.
Meanwhile, guard Jonah Radebaugh exploded for the Bears. The fifth-year senior put up 25 points while grabbing eight boards and handing out five assists. He electrified the Northern Colorado offense, shooting 8-of-11 from the field and making all five of his three-pointers.
The Bears also dominated the glass and outrebounded the Terriers 40-23. Kai Edwards, who led the team with 12 boards, added ten points in his double-double. Only Mahoney reached five individual rebounds for the Terriers.
A brutal 26-6 run spanning the late second quarter and early third put the Bears out in front for good. They shot an elite 52 percent from downtown that dwarfed BU’s 23.1 percent clip. The 78 points allowed by the Terriers are the most so far this season.
After the tough game against Northern Colorado, BU needed a reset and appeared off to a strong start against UT-Martin, taking a 29-17 lead early in the second quarter. But the Skyhawks battled back and took a one-point lead into halftime.
The second half became a dogfight featuring eight lead changes and six ties. BU held a 73-72 lead with just 1:13 remaining, but squandered the last four points and the win. It was the first time this year Joe Jones’ squad lost a game while still managing at least 70 points.
The Terrier offense looked better a day after their blowout loss. Jonas Harper, who rebounded from a scoreless effort Tuesday with four threes, tied Max Mahoney for the team lead with 14 points. Vilarino and Walter Whyte also notched double-digit totals, and aside from Sukhmail Mathon every Terrier landed on the scoreboard.
But they could not contain the Skyhawks. Senior Craig Randall II came off the bench firing and ended with 25 points on 10-of-17 shooting. Quinton Dove, another senior, scored 20 points to go with seven rebounds. The two combined for over half of UT-Martin’s scoring output and devastated the Terrier defense.
Despite outrebounding the Skyhawks, BU failed to generate turnovers; UT-Martin lost the ball just seven times compared to the Terriers’ ten giveaways. In a tight contest, that small differential became one of the key deciding factors.
The Terriers get a Thanksgiving holiday reprieve before continuing their road trip back in the States. They face George Washington University on December 4, with tip-off scheduled for 7:00 p.m.