By James Noyes
Boston University Men’s Basketball (11-14, 4-8 PL) came from behind to beat the Loyola Maryland Greyhounds (8-17, 3-9 PL) 68-67 in Baltimore on Saturday. The Terriers were down 12 points at halftime, and stormed back in the second half to take the win.
The Terriers had lost three games in a row, and seven of their last eight, before beating Loyola Maryland. “Long time coming,” BU Assistant Coach Curtis Wilson said. “We needed a win, and we’ve been in this situation before.”
BU played without sophomore forward Malcolm Chimezie (Non-COVID illness) and their third-leading scorer, senior guard Ethan Brittain-Watts (Concussion Protocol). In only his third start of the season, junior Miles Brewster, who started in place of Brittain-Watts, scored the first bucket for the Terriers. Loyola played a tough zone defense, anchored by 6-foot-10 senior forward Golden Dike.
Terriers leading scorer Walter Whyte scored his first points after a Loyola timeout, but the Greyhounds held the height advantage. Three of their players were 6-foot-10 or taller, compared to only one player on BU who boasts a similar height.
Neither team was able to spark very much offense in the first half, until Loyola freshman Dion Perry got hot. Perry, a 5-foot-8 freshman, made four 3-pointers in the first seven minutes of the game, swinging all the momentum to the Greyhounds.
Loyola amped up their defense at the end of the half, holding the Terriers scoreless in the last three minutes. They also held BU’s second-leading scorer, guard Jonas Harper, scoreless in the half. Entering the second half, Loyola led 46-34, and the Terriers needed an adjustment.
According to Wilson, the message at halftime was focused on “Getting stops, not letting them get out in transition and making it as hard as possible to score without fouling.”
The Terriers came out strong in the second half, started off by a Harper 3-pointer for his first points of the game. Brewster scored a tough layup after a Loyola turnover, then another one on the next BU possession. Loyola turned the ball over again, and Whyte nailed a three for the Terriers.
Suddenly, it was 46-44 Loyola, only a two point game. Perry — his hot streak over — missed, and Whyte tied the game with a cutting layup. On the next BU possession, Harper drained another 3-pointer, and BU led 49-46. The Terriers scored 15 unanswered points to start the second half, and take the lead.
The Terriers continued to play with the momentum on their side, getting stop after stop on defense and scoring at will on offense. Freshman forward Otto Landrum blocked a Loyola shot, then drove down the court for an And-1 layup. After Loyola inbounded the ball, Landrum stole it and dunked.
“We got out into transition ourselves,” Wilson said. “Jonas got going in the second. Otto played well, and Walt was getting good looks at the rim. We played with a different energy.”
The Greyhounds made a late comeback, led by veteran guard Kenny Jones. Jones made a 3-pointer late in the game, scoring his 1,000th career point at Loyola. He made another one in celebration, bringing Loyola closer to tying the game.
However, two clutch shots from Whyte and Harper kept the Greyhounds at bay. Jones got one last chance at the buzzer, but the shot was off and BU won 68-67.
The Terriers needed a win, and this massive comeback proved exactly that. Next, they’ll take on the American University Eagles at Case Gym in Boston next Wednesday at 8 p.m.