The Battle of the BU’s pitted two teams coming into the game on a combined 22-game losing streak, the Terriers made sure Binghamton’s streak was going to extend for at least one more game. Playing their most complete game in more than a month, Boston University (5-11, 1-1 AE) ended their 37 day winless streak with a big win in front of the home crowd.
"I don't think you can get overly discouraged when you play the 98th hardest schedule in the country and then the next closest team in your league plays the 217th hardest schedule in your conference," Boston University head coach Joe Jones said. " I think you just gotta kind keep things at bay, about not being too down because we've played some really tough teams and we let the losses effect us."
The Terriers used 24 points in the paint, 14 second-chance points and nine offensive rebounds to keep Binghamton (0-15, 0-3) at bay in a 68-49 victory. Darryl Partin led the Terriers with 17 points, by hitting 7-of-14 shots. Redshirt freshmen Malik Thomas joined Partin in double-figures with 14 points off the bench, in Boston University’s first America East conference win of the season.
Patrick Hazel and Dom Morris joined Thomas in controlling the paint against the undersized Bearcats squad. The three forward combined for 30 points and 15 rebounds, including five of the team’s nine offensive boards.
"I think overall we haven't done a great job offensive and defensive rebounding and we tried to stress that more," Jones said. "You know we have got to rebound the ball better and if we do a better job on the defensive end, it's going to help us out in transition... We're just not a team that's going to shoot 50 percent every night, so we need those extra opportunities. I think Pat [Hazel] in particular, did a very good job in going to the glass on both ends."
Point guard D.J. Irving also made a big impact for the Terriers; he finished with six points, eight assists and no turnovers, in his second game back from an injury.
"He [Irving] had his step back," Jones said. "He had the extra step and his speed was back and his confidence-it looks like it's returned. He just needed more practices, just to have all that layoff time-he was out for three weeks and that's a long time, it was good to see."
Mark Macon’s squad was led by sophomore guard Robert Mansell who recorded 21 points and two rebounds in 39 minutes of play. Freshmen phenom Ben Dickinson added 12 points and eight rebounds but struggled shooting the ball, hitting just 6-of-16 shots.
The Terriers hit 46 percent of their shots (25-54) for the game, including an even 50 percent in the second half. On the other side, Binghamton struggled all afternoon, hitting just 36.5 percent (19-52) of their shots, and falling shy of the 50-point mark for the fourth time this season. Binghamton’s 49 points, were the fewest this season for a Boston University opponent. The previous low had been 59 points by Quinnipiac on New Year’s Eve.
Play was even through the first five minutes of the first half, before the Terriers went on a 9-1 run, to take a 15-5 lead with 12:24 to go. Dickinson and Mansell connected for five, quick points to cut the deficit to 15-10, but Binghamton would never get any closer.
Boston University closed the first half on a 16-8 run, to take a 15-point lead into the break. Irving played a huge part in the burst, with four points and two rebounds, helping the Terriers take a 35-20 lead.
Bearcats fans had some hope early in the second half, when Binghamton opened the half on a 10-4 run, but the nine-point deficit would be as close as it got. Two quick Terrier threes sparked an 8-0 Boston University run and the lead would grow to as many as 27 before the game was over.
The Terriers’ nine 3-pointers were their second most of the season, as the home team hit 36 percent of their attempts. Boston University also turned the ball over just five times, while recording seventeen assists in the win. Irving and Griffin, the team’s two point guards, finished with 13 assists and no turnovers in the win.
Next up for the Terriers, a Wednesday night tilt at the University of Maine in Orono. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.