Men’s Basketball: After strong start, Terriers drop Navy rematch

Daman Tate calls for a pass against the University of Massachusetts Lowell Dec. 8, 2021. The Terriers lost 72-65 to Navy Sunday, falling to 2-4 in conference play. HANNAH YOSHINAGA/ WTBU SPORTS

By Hannah Yoshinaga

Boston University men’s basketball fell to Navy on Sunday for the second time in 12 days, dropping 72-65 despite getting off to a strong start.

The Terriers (11-8, 2-4 PL) quickly worked their way to a 9-0 lead over the Mids (12-5, 5-1 PL) to begin the game, with fifth-year center Sukhmail Mathon, fifth-year guard Javante McCoy and senior forward Walter Whyte putting up a few quick points.

However, Navy settled in and began to find its offensive rhythm, aided by strong two-way play from Richard Njoku.

After trading buckets for the rest of the half, BU closed the period with a 32-30 advantage.

The Mids began the second half on a tear and built up an early lead behind scores from Njoku, Tyler Nelson, Greg Summers and Sean Yoder. The Terriers never regained their lead from that point forward, and the deficit ballooned to 17 points before BU worked it back down to seven before the final buzzer.

Mathon once again led all scorers, posting 24 points, 14 rebounds and two steals. Whyte contributed 12 points, and junior Ethan Brittain-Watts recorded 11 on 4-of-6 shooting.

McCoy, the Terriers’ leading scorer this season, struggled from the field and went 2-of-11 for eight points in 30 minutes of play.

Both teams struggled to connect from beyond the arc throughout the match. Navy shot just 27.3% from deep, while BU only sank 18.2% of its three-point attempts.

Navy had a 39-16 edge in bench points, fueled by Patrick Dorsey’s 12 points in 21 minutes off the bench. Forward Jaylen Walker led the starting lineup with 11 points.

Apart from a 69-50 loss to Colgate last Thursday, Navy has been one of the winningest teams in the Patriot League thus far. Until that game, Navy had not beaten a conference opponent by fewer than 12 points.

The Mids defeated the Terriers on January 4 at Alumni Hall by a final score of 83-71 despite starting guard Summers being out.

The conference season has not been as successful for BU, which is tied for the second-worst conference record in the Patriot League despite being voted the league’s number-one team in the preseason poll.

The Terriers have a chance to begin turning their season around Wednesday with a road matchup against Loyola Maryland. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.