Boston University looked like they would cruise to a double-digit lead at several points during the second half but needed three late Hartford turnovers to ensure their five seniors would leave Case Gym on a high note. Hartford (8-21, 7-9 America East) still had plenty to play for Saturday against the Terriers but couldn't overcome their youth against a Boston University (16-15, 12-4 AE) squad that matched last season's conference record at 12-4.
Darryl Partin, one of five Terrier seniors, led the way on Senior Day with a game-high 21 points as Boston University earned the 64-55 victory. Partin connected on 7-of-16 attempts from the field and collected five rebounds for the Terriers who enter next weekend's America East Tournament on a two-game winning streak.
Senior guard Matt Griffin (eight points) and senior forward Jeff Pelage (seven points) got the rare start and played big roles on the Terriers fifth consecutive Senior Day victory. Pelage knocked down both of his field goal attempts (two big dunks) and chipped in four rebounds and Griffin finished with five assists and five rebounds, as the Terriers swept their fifth America East opponent.
Freshmen guard Yolonzo Moore II led the Hawks with 17 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field. Fellow freshmen Mark Nwakamma was one of the most effective Hartford players despite only playing 14 minutes before fouling out. Nwakamma was one of three Hartford players to finish in double figures (11 points on 5-of-6 shooting). Senior point guard Andres Torres finished with 12 points and six assist but also added seven turnovers, including two late giveaways with the game still close.
Boston University held double-digit leads at two separate junctures of the second half but struggled to put away a young Hartford team.
After taking 15 threes (5-of-15) in the first half, Hartford attempted just 10 (1-of-10) in the second half as they attempted to attack inside. With Nwakamma in the lineup Hartford attacked the Terriers using backdoor cuts and cut the deficit to a single possession twice, but they couldn't sustain the advantage without the talented freshmen in the lineup.
Head coach Joe Jones went with his seniors to start the game-as Chris Kurz made his first start and was joined by Patrick Hazel, Partin, Griffin and Pelage.
After a Nate Sikma three pointer cut the deficit to 58-55 for the Hawks with 2:47 left, the Terrers found a way to close out the game with a 6-3 run. Boston University forced three Hartford turnovers and the Hawks added two errant 3-pointers over the final two minutes. Partin added a huge basket off an offensive rebound, one of 13 Terriers offensive rebounds on the day, to open up a 60-55 lead and sophomore Travis Robinson and D.J. Irving hit two free throws each to ice the game.
Boston University will have the week off before they America East Tournament Quarterfinals next Saturday. The Terriers had wrapped up the third seed several weeks ago and are still awaiting their opponent.