BOSTON - The Boston University men’s basketball team went on a decisive 23-5 run to open the second half, erasing an eight-point halftime deficit, and the Terriers held on to defeat New Hampshire, 63-56, at Case Gymnasium on Sunday afternoon (Feb. 10).
Junior forward Billy Collins (Concord, NH) started the Terriers’ second-half point-scoring spree with a three-pointer to cut the Wildcat lead to three points at 39-36. Junior guard Paul Seymour (Liverpool, NY) followed with another three-pointer to tie the score at 39-39 with 14:13 left. Seymour then gave the Terriers their first lead of the game at 41-39 with a jumper just inside the arc along the right baseline.
B. U., which shot only 29.4 percent in the first half, continued its offensive onslaught with another three-pointer by Collins to give the Terriers a 44-41 advantage. Sophomore guard Kevin Fitzgerald (Belle Harbor, NY) and freshman forward Rashad Bell (Queens, NY) then brought the crowd to its feet with a Bell alley-oop dunk off a baseline inbounds play. Collins put an exclamation point on the run with a dunk of his own off an offensive rebound to extend the lead to 48-41. Senior forward Stijn Dhondt (Bornem, Belgium) made a right wing three-pointer to give the Terriers their largest lead of the game at 51-41 with 10:31 left.
“I’m very proud of the way our kids fought back out of that early deficit,” said Terrier head coach Dennis Wolff, whose team assured itself of a winning overall record with the victory. “We kept our composure and made a bunch of plays down the stretch. Both [sophomore forward] Jason Grochowalski and Paul Seymour have played well in our last three games. Collins made a couple of good plays to begin the second half, and we had a lot of energy.
“I told our guys at halftime that we had shot only 29 percent and they had outrebounded us,” continued Wolff. “But we were only down by seven points, so we were still in the game, which is where we needed to be.” The Terriers were outrebounded, 27-16 in the first half, but each team had 22 boards in the second half.
New Hampshire (10-14, 7-6) made just one of its 12 shots during B. U.’s decisive run, and finished the game shooting just 32.7 percent. After scoring 38 first-half points, UNH managed just 18 in the second half.
The Wildcats opened the game with a 13-0 run in the first 4:04. Sophomore guard Marcus Bullock made three three-pointers from the left side during the run. B. U. slowly shot itself back into the game thanks to the long ball. The Terriers’ first 15 points were scored on three-pointers, and the two teams combined to make 11 treys in the first 10 minutes of action.
The Terriers cut the lead to 30-27 on a three-pointer from freshman guard Chaz Carr with 3:59 left in the half, but UNH senior forward Chris Brown made a late top-of-the-key three-pointer to extend the Wildcat lead to 38-31 at the intermission.
Collins led the Terriers with 14 points and nine rebounds. Bell finished with 12 points, and Seymour had 11. UNH was paced by senior forward Austin Ganly, who had 14 points. Brown had 12 points and a career-high 20 rebounds. Overall, the Wildcats outrebounded the Terriers, 49-38, but B. U. had the advantage in turnovers, 21-9.
The Terriers (15-9, 9-3) play three of their remaining four games at home, with the next coming on Thursday, Feb. 14, when they host Northeastern at Case Gym. The Terriers won the earlier matchup between the two teams, 95-88, in overtime. Game time is 7 p.m.