A Corey Lowe(SHA’10) layup with 2.1 seconds remaining in regulation catapulted the BostonUniversity men’s basketball team into overtime against George Washingtonin the season opener for both teams on November 14. But the Terriers fell short, 63-58, in front of 4,624 fans at Agganis Arena.
BU’s defense put on a stout performance in the program’s first gameof its historic 100th season, enticing GW into 26 turnovers, the mostrecorded by an opponent since Ohio University posted the same numberin the 2003–04 season. Furthermore, the Colonials’ 51 points in regulation were the fewest recorded by GW in the 17-game series.The previous low was 68, set in 1975 and 2002.
Unfortunately for the Terriers, the offense was as cold asthe ice under the court, as the team posted a 29.7 field goalpercentage on 22-of-74 shooting, while the Colonials made 21 of their46 attempts, for 45.7 percent.
Despite an off night in shooting and an early 12-2 deficit at the14:43 mark, BU remained resolute in avoiding a fourth straightdouble-digit loss to the Atlantic 10 team. The only Terrier to shootover 50 percent, Carlos Strong (MET’10), drained a three-pointer and then made a quick jumper in the paint at 7:05 to tie the game, 16-16.
America East Player of the Game John Holland (CGS’09),who scored a game-high 22 points, gave BU its largest lead with 1:11 remaining in the first when he used one of his patented dunksto put the Terriers ahead 29-23. A Colonial free throw prior to thehalf inched GW closer, making the deficit five points.
The Terriers maintained the lead for the first 13:50 in the second,until Wynton Witherspoon put one in from beyond the arc to give GW abrief 45-44 advantage, which quickly dissipated when Holland copied himwith one of his own just seconds later.
The game seesawed back and forth during the final five minutes, but NoelWilmore failed in an opportunity to put the game away for the Colonials witheight seconds remaining. Positioned perfectly for the long rebound offthe missed three-point attempt, Lowe dashed past his nearest competitor to make a layup with 2.1 secondsremaining, to the delight of Terrier fans.
The Terriers carried the momentum over from the thrilling chain ofevents to take what seemed to be a commanding 56-51 lead at 3:47 whenHolland scored another three-pointer. However, they would notmake another field goal the rest of the game.
Still, BU found itself with a one-point lead after two free throwsby Strong at 1:22 and with the chance to extend its lead even furtherwhen Tyler Morris(SMG’10) blocked a layup by Rob Diggs, but Travis King managed to grab theoffensive rebound and keep the ball in GW’s hands. Damian Holliseventually made a field goal with 56 seconds remaining and then anotherat 17 following a Terrier turnover. All five of Hollis’ points came inthe extra stanza.
Witherspoon posted a team-high 13 points, and Diggs had the game’sonly double-double with 12 points and 14 rebounds. Strong had 14 pointsfor BU, and Holland, along with Matt Wolff (MET’09), led the team with eight rebounds. Forward Jake O’Brien(CGS’10) gave fans a taste of what’s to come, recording eight points, with sixrebounds and three key blocks. He became the first Terrier to start inhis first college career game since 2006, when Scott Brittain (MET’10), Lowe, andMorris started in their first contest, coincidently against GeorgeWashington as well.
Even with the disappointing loss, the night was one Terrier Nationwill never forget, as the University recognized the 50th anniversary ofthe 1958–59 team that made history by becoming the first BU team to reachthe NCAA tournament. Of the 12-man squad that lost atough 86-82 decision to future NBA Hall of Famer Jerry West and theWest Virginia Mountaineers, 8 were on hand to witness the retiring of the number 10 jersey belonging to the late Jack Leaman (SED’59,’60). Also attending theceremony honoring the team’s senior cocaptain were his wife, Rita, anddaughter, Laura.
Next up for the Terriers is their first trip to Bucknell, on Tuesday, November 18, with tipoff set for 7 p.m. in Lewisburg, Pa. Bucknell won theonly meeting between the two teams, 63-57, in 2006 at the Cable CarClassic in Santa Clara, Calif.