By Michael Wax
Boston University (16-9, 7-5 PL) bounced back in a big way on Saturday afternoon, taking down the Lehigh Mountain Hawks (9-15, 7-5 PL) 80-74 on the road.
The game came down to two key areas for BU — free-throw shooting and the turnover battle, according to head coach Joe Jones. BU won the turnover battle 14-5 while sinking 11 of its 14 free throws throughout the game, many of which came down the stretch.
BU struggled to maintain a consistent game plan early in the game, leading 12-11 at one point in the first half but falling behind by as many as nine points during the first half.
The Terriers clawed their way back to a tied game at the half and proceeded to ride the three-pointer to victory in the second half.
The team came into the game shooting 35% from beyond the arc as a team, increasing its three-point percentage in a big way in the second half by going 7-10 from three.
“The thing we wanted to do is when they doubled us, we got to get it to our open perimeter guys,” Jones said. “I thought we were able to do that.”
Graduate center Suhkmail Mathon put together his 13th double-double of the season for BU, posting 16 points and grabbing 10 rebounds while having a less-than-typical game defensively. Senior forward Walter Whyte also put up 16 points, part of a balanced scoring attack that saw four different Terriers reach double digits in points.
“That’s how good [Suhk] is, that’s a bad game for him,” Jones said. “He was able to rebound a ball at a high level, and he made his foul shots down the stretch, which was huge for us. [Suhk’s] been vital to our success.”
Sophomore Daman Tate caught fire for the Terriers, scoring a season-high 13 points off the bench and leading the team in first-half points. Tate shot a perfect five-of-five from the field and three-for-three from beyond the arc, catalyzing the Terriers’ 25 points off the bench.
“Daman, in particular, has played well in practice, and he deserved to have a chance,” Jones said. “He’s had a great attitude, he’s worked hard every day and I’m glad he played as well as he did.”
Lehigh received massive contributions from senior Nic Lynch and junior Evan Taylor in the loss. Lynch put up a season-high 24 points, along with seven rebounds, for the Mountain Hawks before fouling out, while Taylor scored a career-high 26 points and seven rebounds.
“Taylor played well and Lynch played well, those two guys really hurt us,” said Jones. “I thought Nick Lynch played great today. I mean, he was he was fantastic.”
BU will take on Army West Point on Wednesday, February 9 at 7 p.m. at home.