(Boston, MA) – Following Boston University’s 68-56 win over visiting New Hampshire, BU freshman point guard Maurice Watson Jr. – listed at 5’10” on the Terriers’ official roster – was asked just how tall he would like to credit himself with being.
“Five-ten,” said Watson with a mischievous smile, “Five-ten and a half in my sneakers.”
Dwarfed by a surrounding scrum of 5’9” writers, it was immediately apparent that the Lansdowne, Pennsylvania native was taking some serious liberties in assessing his stature.
But Watson and equally diminutive back-court mate D.J. Irving played like seven-footers on Sunday, as the dynamic-duo dominated the game and destroyed the visiting Wildcats on the glass, 43-28. The pint-sized playmakers powered the Terriers, combining for 23 points, 19 rebounds, 12 assists and five steals.
“Those two kids can play – they can play basketball, doesn’t matter if they’re five-whatever or six-four, those two kids can play,” said New Hampshire head coach Bill Herrion of the tiny tandem.
A week after notching a career-high 13 assists, Watson posted his first career double-double, pulling down a game and career-high 10 rebounds to go with 13 points. The America East leader in assists at 5.2 per game, Watson dropped six dimes and swiped three steals.
Officially listed at 6’ but checking in much closer to 5’9”, Irving added nine rebounds and ten points, to go with six steals and two steals. After spending his first two years on Comm. Ave., as the Terriers starting point guard, the junior from Chester, Pennsylvania, moved off the ball this year to make room for Watson, but still ranks fifth in the America East in assists.
“Either one of those guys can initiate offense,” said Boston University head coach Joe Jones.
Junior forward Dom Morris continued his stellar junior season, scoring 13 points, shooting 5-of-9 from the floor and a perfect 3-of-3 from the line, to go with eight rebounds and three steals. Red-shirt sophomore forward Malik Thomas added 10 points and freshman sharp-shooter John Papale added nine points, with the duo combining to connect on four of the Terriers seven made three’s.
The Terriers shot 45.5 percent from the floor (25-of-55), 43.8 percent from behind the arc (7-of-16) and 78.6 percent from the line (11-of-16). BU jumped all over New Hampshire in the opening stanza, leading 34-17 at the half and pushed their lead to 20 early in the second, before coasting to the win.
“I thought we played a great half of basketball – I was very pleased with our effort for the first 20 minutes,” said Jones. “In the second half, just like you knew they would, they played with great heart in the second half. For the majority of the second half I thought they outplayed us.”
The Wildcats continued their season-long trend of being unable to put the ball in the bucket, shooting a dismal 37.5 percent from the floor (21-of-56), while bombing their way to a horrifying 4-of-22 (18.2 percent) from downtown.
“In the first half we were just three happy again,” said Herrion with a snap of his fingers, “when we do that, we’re not good.” (more…)