In a battle that stayed neck and neck all evening, the Lafayette Leopards pulled away in the final moments of the game to defeat the Boston University Terriers, 79-72, on Wednesday evening at Case Gym.
Neither team gained anything more than a two-possession lead for the first 38 minutes of game time.
“We struggled with our ability to be focused and play with an edge,” head coach Joe Jones said. “We came up with nothing when we needed big stops.”
A pair of technical free throws by Scanlon and a layup from Pascoe gave BU Terriers (11-13, 4-7 Patriot League) a one-point lead at 63-62 with 5:41 remaining in regulation, but then came the Lafayette (6-16, 3-8 PL) offensive that completely overtook the lead.
“I think that was a momentum swing, and they did a good job of cutting it taking it back,” junior forward Tyler Scanlon said. “We just didn’t do a great job, when he had the momentum and the advantage by our side.”
The Leopards went on a crucial 12-3 run over a four-minute span and claimed the largest lead of the night at 74-66 with 1:17 left to play.
BU continued to make plays to stay in the game, including a 3-pointer from sophomore guard Javante McCoy and an and one by Scanlon that made it a four-point game with 41 seconds left on the block.
“I thought at different times of the game, we really were competing at a level where we could win,” Jones said. “We just couldn’t sustain it.”
Sophomore guard Javante McCoy had two opportunities from the 3-point line to make it a two-point game in BU’s penultimate possession of the game, but neither shot fell through.
The 12-3 run was a repetition of the first half that saw the Leopards always seemed to overtake the Terriers’ momentum: When Garrett Pascoe’s layup gave the BU its largest lead of the half, Lafayette quickly decimated the momentum with a 7-0 run of its own.
While their edge on the offensive glass compensated for the defensive faults during majority of the game, the Terriers allowed 54.5 percent shooting from the field which proved to be too much.
Scanlon led the way for BU with career-high 28 points and 7 rebounds. Lafayette sophomore guard Alex Petrie led the Leopards with 20 points off the bench. Petrie alone outscored the Terriers bench, which scored just 10 points for the evening.
“You’re getting to the heart of league play, [and] every team’s good, every team wants to win just as bad as you do,” Scanlon said. “If you dont make the plays that are necessary to win, you’re not going to. … [You] can’t take any game for granted.”