By: Hannah Yoshinaga
WASHINGTON, DC — Despite holding a lead late in the game, the Boston University men’s basketball team lost 64-63 to George Washington University on Colonials forward Javier Langarica’s buzzer-beating layup.
The Terriers (3-6) led by as many as 10 points at the beginning of the second half, but sloppy play throughout the rest of the half cost them the game. They committed 11 turnovers and 13 personal fouls during the period, giving the Colonials extra opportunities to score.
The turnovers underscored what was a lousy night on offense for BU. Starters not named Max Mahoney combined to shoot only 36% from the field, while Mahoney scored 17 points on 8-of-11 shooting and grabbed 6 boards.
Junior Javante McCoy added 12 points and sophomore Alex Vilarino racked up a team-leading seven assists and seven rebounds. Off the bench, junior Andrew Petcash went 2-of-3 from the dish for six points and junior Sukhmail Mathon tacked on six rebounds.
BU also struggled to take advantage of its free throw opportunities, going only 58 percent from the line. The team’s 65.5 percent free throw rate has been a liability on offense all season long.
The Terriers’ subpar scoring cost them the win despite their solid defensive effort. On the defensive end they put up seven steals and three blocks in addition to allowing only 63 points. That total is the fewest they’ve given up since allowing 62 points in a loss to Vermont last month.
The BU defense was particularly effective against George Washington’s bench players, who scored only 8 points on the night.
The Colonials’ strongest offensive performances came from guards Jameer Nelson Jr. and Armel Potter, who scored 17 and 15 points, respectively. Potter has been the team’s leading scorer this season and warranted extra attention from BU defenders all night.
Coach Joe Jones and the rest of the squad will look to improve the team’s scoring efficiency and ball handling in preparation for the beginning of conference play next month. They need to continue to build on their defensive capabilities as well.
The Terriers’ next contest is a non-conference matchup against Binghamton on the road this Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.