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Boston University finished sixth out of the eight team field that participated in this past weekend’s Puerto Rico Tip-Off. This preseason tournament ran from November 19th through the 22nd and featured several of the nation’s top college basketball powerhouses, including three ranked teams, Villanova, Dayton, and Georgia Tech. All participants were scheduled to play a grueling three games in four days, all of which took place at Coliseo de Puerto Rico, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Jay Wright’s Villanova Wildcats took down the Mississippi Rebels in the championship game 79-67.
Coach Patrick Chambers and the Terriers opened the tournament on November 19th, matched up against Kansas State. Still looking for his elusive first win, the team focused their pre game strategy on taking care of the ball, defense, and taking high percentage shots. Plagued by cold shooting to open the season, the Terriers struggled to make baskets once again. Pitted against a more athletic, taller, and talented Kansas State team, BU kept the game close throughout. Tyler Morris and John Holland led the team with 21 and 20 points respectively, but a lack of depth and a poor performance from Corey Lowe, allowed the Wildcats to pull away for the 10 point victory 80-70.
Looking uphill at an 0–3 record to start the season and facing the Indiana Hoosiers in a second round consolation bracket match up, the Terriers focused their game plan on scoring inside the arc, rebounding, and attacking the basket to draw fouls and free trips to the charity stripe. Once again, the Terriers fell behind in the first half, victimized by committing silly fouls, turnovers, and missing open field goals. Indiana led by five at the break, led by strong play from their guards Maurice Cheek and Verdell Jones III. The Hoosiers jumped out to a nine point lead, 40-31, several minutes into the second half. The Terriers faced the dreadful thought of going 0-4, as Indiana tried to put the game away. BU refused to give up, as they turned up the defensive intensity and started to attack the basket. Indiana started to cave in defensively, as the Terriers drove the ball to the hoop relentlessly. With three minutes to go in the game, John Holland buried a three pointer, tying the game at 63, the first tie of the game since it was knotted at 14-all in the first half. With Indiana down by three, Cheek’s possible game tying three point shot bounced off of the rim, Corey Lowe secured the rebound and iced the game from the line. Coach Chambers and the BU Terriers had their first win, 71-67.
The fifth place game featured the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets against the Terriers on Sunday morning, November 22. BU knew that this game would be tough, as Georgia Tech towered over the Terriers from the tipoff. The smaller BU team hung in there for most of the first half, only trailing by two at the break. Backup guard Zachery Peacock, answered every Terrier highlight with one of his own. Finishing 10-12 from the field and with 22 points, Peacock ruined any chance for BU victory. Coach Chambers just watched as the Tech guard sliced and diced his way through the BU defense. The more athletic and proven Georgia Tech team pulled away in the second half, to beat the Terriers 85-67.
BU returned home after the tournament with their heads held high, knowing that they played well against some of the country’s best competition. On Wednesday, November 25, BU opens the season at their home Case Gym, against cross town rival Northeastern. BU will close out the week on Sunday at home against Harvard.