Courtesy of BucknellBison.com
BOSTON, Mass. – Nate Sestina scored a career-high 27 points, but it wasn’t enough as Boston University held off Bucknell’s late rally and defeated the Bison 87-80 on Saturday before a bipartisan crowd at Case Gym. Max Mahoney had 26 points and 14 rebounds for the Terriers, as both teams moved to 1-1 in Patriot League play.
Four times this season the Bison (7-7) had overcome double-digit deficits to win a game, including a school-record 26-point comeback at Army on Wednesday, and they tried it again in this one after spotting Boston University (8-7) an early 13-2 lead. Bucknell pulled within three points on a Bruce Moore dunk with 3:47 to play, but the Terriers made big plays down the stretch and then went 10-for-10 at the foul line to salt away the game.
Sestina went 10-for-15 from the field and 5-for-7 from the 3-point arc and also grabbed nine rebounds. He surpassed his previous career high of 24 points in a win at La Salle earlier in the season. Kimbal Mackenzie added 19 points, Moore had 16, and Jimmy Sotos handed out seven assists to give him 30 in the last three games.
Bucknell shot 53.4 percent from the field compared to 47.8 percent for Boston University, but the Terriers made up for it by parlaying 13 offensive rebounds into 20 second-chance points.
The Bison trailed 43-32 at the half and then traded baskets with the Terriers for the first eight minutes of the second half before finally making another run. Mackenzie drove to the basket for a layup and then fed Moore underneath to ignite a 12-4 surge. Sestina hit a pair of treys in the spurt, the second of which pulled the Bison within four at 63-59.
After getting the deficit back to four, Bucknell then manufactured three straight stops but could not score at the other end. Javante McCoy hit two free throws and Mahoney completed a 3-point play to push it back to a nine-point game at 68-59.
Moore then scored 10 straight Bucknell points over the next two minutes, but the Terriers intervened with an Alex Vilarino runner and a Jack Hemphill 3-pointer to beat the shot clock.
It was a four-point game at 73-69 after Moore’s layup with 2:51 to go, but Tyler Scanlon scored two big buckets in a row, and after the Bison split two free throws, Vilarino made a pair at the line to give Boston University a 79-70 lead.
Sestina tacked on two more 3-pointers, but the Terriers did not cooperate at the foul line.
It was another slow start for the Bison in this one, as Boston University ran out to a 13-2 lead behind a couple of 3-pointers from Scanlon and Fletcher Tynen, and a 3-point play from Vilarino.
Down 27-15 later in the half, Mackenzie scored seven points in a 10-2 Bucknell run, with his free throws cutting the deficit to four at 29-25. But just 67 seconds later the lead was back to 12 as the Terriers rattled off eight straight points. An air-balled 3-pointer fell into the arms of Mahoney, who stuck it back in while drawing a foul, and then McCoy followed with a 3-pointer and a Jonas Harper with a layup for a 37-25 lead.
A Toomer three and a breakaway dunk from Sestina pulled the Bison within seven, but Boston University finished the half on a 6-2 run, getting two more put-backs along the way, to go up 43-32 at the break.
After playing the last eight games away from home – the longest such streak since 1931-32 – the Bison will return to Sojka Pavilion on Wednesday to face Colgate in a rematch of last year’s Patriot League championship game. The contest will be streamed on the Patriot League Network at PatriotLeague.tv.
Leave a Reply