Boston University is experiencing a lot of firsts in its initial run through the Patriot League. The only thing missing on the resume is a first loss. The Terriers continued a torrid pace through conference play with their sixth-straight victory, 72-58, last night over Loyola Maryland at Agganis Arena. Maurice Watson Jr. continued to make a difference for BU (13-6, 6-0), scoring 19 points and making six assists. John Papale had 13 points and D.J. Irving, who returned from a one-game absence due to an injured ankle, added 14 points for the Terriers. Just a year ago, the Terriers lost to these same Greyhounds (8-9, 3-3) in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament. Now, BU is seven game above .500 for the first time in nine years. “I haven’t really focused on that at all,” Terriers coach Joe Jones said about the program’s longest unbeaten start in conference play since 2002-03 while in America East. “My wife has. She tells me every time that I need to relax. But I’m not really worried about that at all. I know a few things — there is no champion that gets crowned in the month of January.” Jones might not think about BU’s record, but he had to make a decision about his star backcourt last night. He benched both Watson and Irving for the beginning of the game in what he called a “coach’s decision.” Irving missed the first five minutes, while Watson sat out for nearly 10 minutes before entering the game. The Greyhounds jumped out to a 7-0 lead with the stars on the bench, and still Jones didn’t flinch. When Watson did enter the game, the Greyhounds were in the middle of a 10-0 run. By halftime, BU was up 32-27. Watson and Irving combined to shoot 13-of-17 from the field for the game, with nine assists compared to only three turnovers. Irving said he and Watson were informed of their punishment by the coaching staff earlier in the day. But nobody on the team offered a reason for the discipline of two of the most important pieces of this Terriers team. “We just were focusing on the way Loyola was playing and the things we needed to do when we got out there to help our team,” Watson said. The Greyhounds struggled from the field in the second half, missing seven of their first 10 shots. Watson grabbed a missed 3-pointer by Tyler Hubbard and kicked a pass out to Papale, who was trailing in transition, for a 3-pointer as the Terriers lead expanded to 12 points. Irving scored 10 of his 14 points in the final five minutes.
Terriers continue red-hot run
Boston Herald | Jan 21