BU beats men’s basketball 64-57

Tanner Harding and Tom Cunningham

It’s tough to win when you don’t score. The Quinnipiac men’s basketball team struggled to do just that in the second half of the team’s Sunday afternoon matchup against Boston University. The Bobcats opened up a 13-point lead against the Terriers early in the second half, but the Terriers came storming back going on a 22-to-5 run in the middle of the second half to regain the lead, and would never look back. The Terriers (5-4, 0-0 Patriot League) would defeat the Bobcats (4-5, 1-1 MAAC) by a final of 64-57.

Quinnipiac came in to this game riding a two game winning streak with wins on the road against Canisius and Hartford. The Bobcats were slow out of the gates, allowing the Terriers to extend their lead to as many as 10 points midway through the first half. The Bobcats would close the first half on an 18-to-6 run to go in to the locker room with a 30-28 lead, behind 16 points from senior point guard Giovanni McLean. McLean set a new personal best with a game-high 24 points on the afternoon. McLean played in a season high 36 minutes against Boston University putting to rest any questions about his conditioning.

Photo: Quinnipiac Athletics
Photo: Quinnipiac Athletics

“I’m all set now, I’m good,” McLean said. “I just needed a few games under my belt but I’m good now.

The Bobcats’ offense went silent for the final 10 minutes of the game as they saw their 13-point lead disappear in just a few minutes. That was due in large part to the Terriers being able to spread the scoring around, as three players finished with 13 points including one of the team’s leading scorers, John Papale (13.6 ppg), who netted all 13 of his points in the second half. Cheddi Mosely and Eric Fanning also chipped in 13 points a piece for the Terriers. The Bobcats only had two players, McLean (24) and junior Donovan Smith (14), score more than four.

“Just look at the balance of BU’s scoring after their first guy or two. It was very good,” Quinnipiac head coach Tom Moore said. “We didn’t get the third guy or the fourth guy to make baskets for us.”

Not only did the Bobcats struggle to get other players involved in the offense, but Moore’s squad had a very poor free throw percentage. The team shot just 42.9% from the free throw line, going 9-for-21 on the afternoon. The Bobcats missed their final seven free throw shots as the game winded down, and would score just 10 points in the final 14 minutes of play.

The game was frustrating for the team, but gave them a better idea of what they need to work on.

“We have to look at our stuff and look at what we’re running, we have to look at how we are teaching it and how we are coaching it and what we are emphasizing in practice,” Moore said. “We need more confidence offensively, need more conviction offensively, more will offensively, toughness offensively, discipline offensively.”

Quinnipiac now has a little over a week off before returning to action on Dec. 21 when the team makes the cross-country trip to take on Oregon State at the Gill Coliseum. The Bobcats do not return home to Lender Court until the New Year when they take on the MAAC preseason favorites AJ English and the Iona Gaels on Jan. 2.