Boston University graduate student guard Javante McCoy blew by his defender with a pump-fake before galvanizing the Terrier bench onto their feet with a thunderous “and-one” dunk over 6-foot-9 sophomore forward Johnny O’Neil — American University’s leading shot-blocker.
McCoy’s highlight reel-worthy play, representative of BU’s tenacious effort throughout the game, put the Terriers up 57-40 less than seven minutes into the second half of the team’s Saturday afternoon matchup against the Eagles.
By the time the game clock hit triple zeros, BU (18-9, 9-5 Patriot League) had scored 85 points — tied for the most it’s scored this season — while holding American (6-18, 2-10 PL) to just 67 points in a blowout win on Senior Night at Case Gym.
The Terriers’ previous game, a 75-74 win over Army on Feb. 9, gave the team momentum coming into their matchup against the Eagles.
“Yesterday was one of our more spirited practices of the year,” head coach Joe Jones said. “I thought that really helped us tonight.”
Assistant coach Curtis Wilson agreed, simply describing the practice as “intense.”
Although McCoy led all scorers with 25 points, the Terriers’ offense was well-balanced throughout the game with four out of five starters hitting double-figure point totals.
“All around, we got contributions from a lot of guys,” said Jones.
The starters were complimented with a strong performance from the Terriers’ bench, allowing the team to hold and extend their lead.
Sophomore guard Daman Tate led the Terrier bench with 14 points on an efficient six-of-six shooting from the field, including one three-pointer.
“It’s been helpful to have guys off the bench that are playing with some energy and attitude,” Jones said.
The stellar performance from the Terriers bench allowed the starters to feel more comfortable while resting.
“When you have guys like that who are talented, you don’t feel any pressure that ‘if I come out of the game, we are going to lose’” Wilson said. “I know the guy that comes in at my position is going to give [the team] an opportunity to still win us the game.”
The Terriers’ defensive effort also contributed to their blowout win Saturday afternoon. The Terriers had four blocks, nine steals and forced a total of 16 turnovers.
Wilson said a key aspect of the Terriers’ defensive game plan focused on limiting fouling Eagles’ star senior guard Stacy Beckton Jr., who finished the game with 14 points.
“[Beckton] can draw fouls and he can finish,” Wilson said. “You have to make it as hard as possible for him and make him score over your body.”
The Terriers’ game plan was successful — Beckton stepped to the free-throw line just once in the contest.
The Terriers honored the hard work and dedication of the team’s senior players prior to tip off in a Senior Night recognition ceremony.
“You get kind of spoiled when you have guys who are not only talented but just good guys. They care about each other,” Wilson said.
The Terriers will travel to the College of the Holy Cross on Wednesday at 7 p.m. as they hope to rack up their 19th win of the season.
Originally Published by The Daily Free Press on February 14, 2022
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