Featured image by Helen Gui
By Henry Dinh-Price
Ethan Okwuosa watched from his backside as a 3-pointer launched by Davidson’s Grant Huffman fell through the net. Huffman’s stepback ankle-breaking triple, which left Okwuosa, a junior guard, helpless as he slid across the hardwood, created an echoing roar at John M. Belk Arena as the Davidson Wildcats (3-2) took a 36-18 lead late in the first half, capping off a 14-2 run.
It was that kind of night for Boston University men’s basketball (1-4), who trailed by double digits for the final 25 minutes of a blowout 69-45 loss.
“We just weren’t in the right mindset to play this game,” BU head coach Joe Jones said postgame. “We did not come out hungry, wanting to beat a really good team in their building. We didn’t play with that level of attitude that you have to play with to be great.”
“And it shows.”
The Terriers started off hot, scoring on their first three possessions to take an early 7-4 lead. Then the offense went cold, failing to score for the next five minutes. At the end of a 14-0 Davidson run, BU found themselves in an 18-7 deficit they couldn’t escape from.
A difficult layup through traffic by freshman guard Spencer Joyner cut the BU deficit to just six points with seven minutes left in the half, but it was as close as the Terriers would get, as Davidson’s ensuing 14-2 run over the next four minutes gave them a comfortable 18-point lead.
The Terriers’ offensive struggles were apparent throughout the night, as they shot 34 percent from the field, 22 percent on 3-pointers and only attempted four free throws. It resulted in a measly 45 points.
The defense did not provide enough resistance either, as Davidson scored at ease in the early going. With just over 11 minutes left in the first half, Davidson had built a ten-point lead on 9-for-13 shooting.
The Terriers had no answers for senior guard Connor Kochera and sophomore forward Reed Bailey early on. Kochera found his spots on back cuts, while Bailey used his speed and size to score over BU’s bigs in the post.
“They did a good job of posting us up right away. They had great length up front,” Jones said. “Reed Bailey is legitimately 6’10” so he was able to score inside early.”
Kochera ended with 23 points on 10-for-12 shooting, and Bailey had 12 going 6-for-9.
After a lackluster first half, the Terriers entered the break trailing 36-21.
Needing a strong start to the second half to get back in the contest, BU produced the opposite. Davidson started the half on a 13-2 run closed by back-to-back 3-pointers from Kochera and redshirt sophomore Angelo Brizzi to put the Wildcats up 26.
“Davidson played much harder,” Jones said. “They wanted it more, and their level of effort and activity was far superior.”
Despite Davidson’s monstrous lead, BU had an opportunity midway through the second half to make the game interesting. The Terriers held the Wildcats scoreless for close to five minutes but were unable to produce enough offense to close the gap. Scoring just seven points during Davidson’s scoring drought, BU was only able to cut the deficit to 18 with 10 minutes remaining.
The short 7-0 run was a small bright spot, but what followed was a mere six points over the final 10 minutes of play as Davidson cruised to a victory.
In a poor scoring night for BU, freshman wing Matai Baptiste led the Terriers with 10 points on 4-for-8 shooting. Sophomore forwards Otto Landrum and Nico Nobili added seven and six, respectively.
The Terriers will look to bounce back on Sunday at 1 p.m. when they return home to face VTSU Johnson at Case Gym. BU is 1-0 at home and 0-4 on the road this season.
“I think this is a great game to look back on and see how far you can get,” Jones said. “This is a game that you can look back on and say ‘Okay, are we tougher than the way that we played down at Davidson?’”