BOSTON — Boston University hit eight 3-pointers in the first half, including six during a game-changing 28-4 run that carried the Terriers to a 79-72 America East men’s basketball victory over the University of Maine on Tuesday night at Case Gym.
Boston University (12-11, 6-4 AE) shoting 50 percent (11-for-22) from the 3-point arc in the contest and never let the Black Bears get legitimately back in the game in the second half.
It was the fourth straight loss for coach Ted Woodward’s UMaine ballclub (8-15, 3-7 AE), which held the Terriers to 38 percent shooting in the second half after BU connected at a 58 percent clip in the first 20 minutes.
“They’re a very good basketball team, especially at home; have been for a long time,” Woodward said. We know the’re an explosive team, the best 3-point shooting team in the league.”
The Bears welcomed back sophomore guard Justin Edwards, who had missed the previous 1½ games with a left ankle sprain. He finished with 16 points, two assists, two steals and four turnovers in 28 minutes.
“He hasn’t practiced the entire week and he didn’t practice [Monday]. We weren’t exactly sure how he would be, but he was able to give us a few things,” Woodward said.
Dom Morris went 9-for-13 from the field on his way to a team-leading 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead BU. John Papale hit four 3-pointers en route to 16 points and Maurice Watson Jr. contributed 14 points, eight rebounds and three steals.
D.J. Irving grabbed 10 rebounds with seven points, four assists and three steals for the Terriers, who outrebounded the Bears 34-33.
Xavier Pollard led UMaine with 20 points on 8-for-12 shooting, along with three assists, two steals and five turnovers. Alasdair Fraser posted 14 points and seven rebounds and Till Gloger added five points and four rebounds.
The Black Bears shot 4-for-15 (27 percent) from 3-point range and committed 18 turnovers that led directly to 21 points for BU, which scored 13 of those in the first half.
UMaine cashed in for 21 points off 15 miscues by the Terriers, most of them in the second half.
The Bears put together a second-half rally, outscoring the hosts 14-4 during a six-minute span. Edwards scored four straight points amid the spurt, which ended on a Pollard foul shot that cut BU’s lead to 71-60 with 3:42 left.
However, the Terriers held.
“We played better defense in the second half, but they made a couple big shots,” Woodward said. “I thought our guys did a good job attacking the basket and we were able to get to the free-throw line because of it.”
BU shot 57 percent (8-for-14) from beyond the arc and capitalized on seven UMaine turnovers while racing to a 48-32 halftime advantage.
“We missed a couple shots and had a couple turnovers that allowed them to get into transition,” Woodward said. “You’ve got to be really careful and unfortunately we allowed them to get 3’s off three or four sequences.”
The hosts also grabbed a 17-12 rebounding edge.
The Bears had a decent offensive effort in the first half, including 10-for-11 foul shooting, but couldn’t stop the Terriers.
BU surged ahead with a dominating 28-4 run during a 6½-minute stretch of the half. UMaine lead 22-19 when Papale kicked off a 13-0 burst with a 3-pointer.
Watson’s 3-point basket 2:38 later had the Terriers in front 32-22.
Pollard broke the momentum briefly with a jumper, but Papale drained another 3-pointer to send the hosts on a 15-2 run. That sequence included two Robinson 3’s that came 26 seconds apart and staked BU to a 47-26 lead with 2:42 left in the half.