Boston U pulls away late to beat Lehigh

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BOSTON – The Lehigh men’s basketball team staged a 10-0 second-half run to pull within four with 12:06 remaining, but Boston University outscored the Mountain Hawks 26-13 the rest of the way to hand Lehigh its second Patriot League defeat of the season, 84-67, on Wednesday evening. Four Lehigh players scored in double figures, led by 19 points and six assists with zero turnovers and four steals from senior Jordan Cohen. The Mountain Hawks fall to 1-2 in league play, heading into consecutive home contests vs. American (Saturday) and Navy (next Wednesday).

Lehigh had seven first-half turnovers, which led to 17 Terrier points off turnovers, but the Mountain Hawks posted just one in the second half for a season-low eight for the game.

“Our first-half turnovers led to transition opportunities for them. They were clear, point-blank shots,” said Lehigh head coach Brett Reed. “Unfortunately, we weren’t able to stop the bleeding early enough because I thought we did an excellent job correcting our turnovers in the second half where we were getting more shots on goal and easier opportunities. In the first half, they had nine extra field goals attempts, went to the line a lot more. We were having empty possessions.

“In the second half, the biggest story was the second-chance points,” Reed continued. “Boston University did a nice job rebounding the ball and we didn’t match it.”

Along with Cohen’s strong effort, freshman Evan Taylor had 13 points, six rebounds and an assist. Junior Marques Wilson reached double-figure points for a third straight game, scoring 12 which included 3-of-6 from 3-point range. Sophomore Jeameril Wilson added 10 points. Making his first start of the season for an injured James Karnik, sophomore Nic Lynch tallied six points and three rebounds, but was limited to 19 minutes due to foul trouble.

Max Mahoney was the story for the Terriers, posting 23 points, 15 rebounds and six assists.

“Having Nic in foul trouble really hurt us,” said Reed. “We ended up having to give Mahoney some second looks and put other people on him, but he did a nice job. It helps when they get an offensive burst from McCoy (14 points), but Mahoney’s a load. We knew that going in.”

Lehigh led for much of the early going with Lynch and Jeameril Wilson combining for eight of the Mountain Hawks’ first 11 points.

Cohen single-handedly created separation midway through the stanza, scoring eight points in the span of 1:20 as his second 3-pointer in that stretch gave the Mountain Hawks a 22-15 edge with 10:29 left in the first half.

The Terriers answered with a 9-2 run to pull even at 24 then with 6:28 left in the first half, Boston University had a seven-point possession, which proved critical. Mahoney scored an and-one basket and an intentional foul was called. He knocked down two free throws and the Terriers got the ball back and hit a 3-pointer. Just like that, Boston University turned a 26-26 game into a 33-26 lead.

The Mountain Hawks pulled as close as four, but McCoy wrapped up the first-half scoring with his third 3-pointer of the half to give the Terriers a 45-37 advantage after 20 minutes of play.

Boston University quickly extended its lead to double figures, reaching as much as 14, but the Mountain Hawks answered in a big way. Lehigh scored 10 straight points, which began and ended with Marques Wilson 3-pointers, to pull within 58-54 with 12:06 still remaining.

The Terriers gradually increased their lead back to double figures, however. The Mountain Hawks pulled as close as eight after four straight Cohen points made the score 70-62 with 5:43 on the clock, but Boston University held a 14-5 edge from there.

After shooting 52.0 percent in the first half, the Mountain Hawks shot 36.1 percent in the second to finish 42.6 percent for the game (26-of-61). Boston University finished at 46.2 percent for the contest (30-of-62). Lehigh shot 30.0 percent from 3-point range (6-of-20) while BU shot 25.9 percent (7-of-27). The Terriers held a 42-33 edge in rebounds.

Lehigh returns home on Saturday night to host American at 7 p.m. To purchase tickets online, please click here.

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