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6’6″ 250 pound Boston University forward Dom Morris (right) drives against 6’7″ 260-plus pound Maine center Alasdair Fraser (left) Tuesday night. Morris scored a career-high 20 points for the Terriers in a 79-72 win, while Fraser was held to 16 points in the loss (Photo by Sam Perkins).
(Boston, MA) – If the definition of insanity is repeating the same mistake over and over again and expecting different results, then the Boston University Terriers and the University of Maine Black Bears played one bat-something-crazy game Tuesday night.
Facing off for the 100th and final time as conference foes, both teams continued their season long trends of shooting themselves in the foot while doing their best to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
The Terriers pounded Maine’s porous perimeter defense, burying 11-of-22 3-pointers and rode a scorching hot first half to a 79-72 win, but not before nearly blowing a 22 point second half lead while displaying an inexcusable lack of effort.
“We played a great first half,” said BU head coach Joe Jones. “The first seven, eight minutes of the second half I was pleased with and then we lost our concentration: I thought we could have extended our lead – it was really poor on our part in terms of decision making on offense down the stretch.”
The league’s worst 3-point field goal percentage defense, the Black Bears once again employed their never-fails-to-fail 2-3 zone defense of doom in an attempt to combat a barrage from downtown – a defense as useful defending the 3 as a screen door is on a submarine.
“We missed a couple shots, they got a couple turnovers, they got in transition and they hit 3’s – it wasn’t 2’s,” said Maine head coach Ted Woodward.
Not to be out-done, after dropping four conference games – along with a near epic meltdown against an overmatched UMBC squad – by simply not playing hard until the final buzzer, the Terriers once again failed to show even the slightest sense of urgency while mailing it in down the stretch.
“When we don’t play with energy, we’re not very good,” said Jones. “If we’re not going to come out and go after people, we’re going to struggle.”
The Terriers shot 58.1 percent from the floor (18-of-31) and 57.1 percent from behind the arc (8-of-14) in the opening stanza, and 49.1 percent from the floor (28-of-57) and 50 percent from three (11-of-22) for the game. BU dished out 18 assists, forced 18 turnovers and won the rebounding battle against the bigger and stronger Black Bears 34-33.
But the Terriers committed 16 turnovers of their own – many of them by simply being lazy and careless with the ball – resulting in 24 Black Bears points, allowing Maine to make a game of it. The Black Bears also scored 38 points in the paint to the Terriers 20, but shot just 26.7 percent from 3 (4-of-15).
“There were some really positive things: we shot 58 percent in the first half, we were 11-for-22 [from three], we had 18 assists – which is huge,” said Jones. “But if we want to be a championship caliber team… We have to concentrate at a higher rate a lot more consistently.”
Junior forward Dom Morris scored a career-high 20 points shooting a stellar 9-of-13 from the floor, to go with seven rebounds, two steals and a block to pace the Terriers.Freshman point guard Maurice Watson Jr., scored 14 points, dished out eight assists and swiped three steals. Freshman gunner John Papale scored 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting and junior wing Travis Robinson added nine; The duo combined to shoot 7-of-13 from behind the arc. Junior guard D.J. Irving struggled through a tough night on offense, shooting just 1-of-5 from the floor and committing six turnovers, but the diminutive 5’10” guard found a way to contribute, pulling down a game-high 10 rebounds. (more…)