By Mitch Fink
Boston University men’s basketball fell into an early hole on Friday evening against Loyola Maryland and could never quite climb out of it, losing 66-58 to the Greyhounds at Case Gym.
Although BU (10-6, 1-2 PL) cut a double-digit deficit to just 2 points near the end of the second half, a late run by Loyola Maryland (8-6, 2-1 PL) sealed the conference victory for the Greyhounds.
The defeat marks BU’s first home loss of the season, and the first time the Terriers have been defeated in two consecutive games.
BU head coach Joe Jones said that while his team “battled back” against Loyola Maryland, the team needs to improve offensively moving forward.
“We’ve got to be better,” Jones said postgame. “We’ve got to execute at a higher level in order to win games on offense.”
The Terriers struggled to make shots all game long but were especially quiet offensively in the first half, when they shot an ice-cold 20.7% from the field and knocked down just one of 13 three-point attempts.
The Greyhounds took advantage of BU’s slow offensive start, posting an early 11-0 run to establish a double-digit lead at the midpoint of the first half.
Loyola Maryland held a 10-point advantage into the break while holding BU to just 17 points in the half — the fewest the Terriers have scored in a single half this season.
The Greyhounds maintained their advantage into the second half, although BU found its shooting range to remain within striking distance throughout the period.
With 2:37 to go in the game, a three-pointer from senior guard Jonas Harper cut the Loyola Maryland lead to two. But a clutch bucket from junior guard Cam Spencer gave the Greyhounds an immediate cushion on the ensuing possession, and Loyola Maryland shut down the Terriers in the final minutes to seal the victory.
Fifth-year center Sukhmail Mathon led BU offensively with 18 points and 6 rebounds, marking the big man’s second consecutive game with 18 points.
“He’s been the most improved player we’ve had since I’ve been here,” Jones said. “He’s worked hard on his body. He’s worked hard developing his game. He’s a competitor.”
Another bright spot for the Terriers came late in the first half when senior forward Walter Whyte hit a floater to become the 40th player in program history to reach 1,000 career points with BU.
“He’s a terrific, terrific player. A great ambassador for our university,” Jones said. “Someone that has left a lasting impression on our program.”
BU will look to level their Patriot League record on Monday at 7 p.m. in a matchup with American in Washington D.C.