Boston University can’t wait for the holiday season to end and have to hope that 2012 will be kinder to them, after their fifth consecutive loss Thursday night. Without D.J. Irving in the lineup for a second straight game, the Terrriers (4-9) struggled to control the ball in the first half and couldn’t slow down Irving’s close friend and former teammate Tyreek Duren.
Playing in Philadelphia for the third time in a month, the Terriers fell 70-53 to LaSalle (9-4) who earned their eight consecutive victory at the Gola Arena, a new venue record. Duren was the difference in the game, finishing with a game-high 23 points, while adding six rebounds and five assists and just one turnover.
The Terriers were led by redshirt freshmen Malik Thomas, who had a career day. Despite coming in to the game with just 16 points in five games this year, the New York native finished with 17 points and eight rebounds in 29 minutes, all career-highs.
Former Explorer Darryl Partin added 12 points but struggled mightily from the field. After scoring 20 points last season in a close loss to LaSalle, Partin hit just 25 percent of his shots, including missing all six of his 3-point attempts. Philadelphia native Matt Griffin finished with three points and a team-high six assists, as he filled in for Irving for the second consecutive game.
For the second consecutive game, the Terriers shot the ball well, hitting 40 percent (20-50) of their shots, but this time struggled from behind the arc. Outside of a perfect 2-of-2 night from Thomas, the squad hit just two of 12 attempts and finished the day hitting just 29 percent of their attempts.
Ramon Galloway and Jerrell Wright joined Duren in double figures for the Explorers who have won now won seven of their past seven games. Senior forward Devon White led LaSalle with eight rebounds, as they took down nine more rebounds than the Terriers (39-30).
LaSalle jumped out to an early double-digit lead and lead for all but 31 seconds of the game as the Terriers struggled to keep up. Even after holding the Explorers scoreless for the final 3:48 of the first half, Boston University still trailed 43-29 after a 6-1 run to end the half.
Partin would cut the deficit to as few as 10 with an early jumper, but a 9-0 LaSalle run shortly afterwards gave the Explorers a 55-33 run and essentially ended the game.
The Terriers will be back on the road trying to break their slide Saturday, when they take on Quinnipiac at noon on NESN. Irving’s status for that game is uncertain, but he will likely be out as he recovers from a concussion suffered on December 13; he was not in uniform for tonight’s game.