The Marist men’s basketball team returned home to play the Boston University Terriers on Saturday night. Both teams had opportunities to win, but the Terriers got the last laugh, holding on for a 72-70 road victory.
“Boston University is a good team. They’re extremely physical. Early in the game, I don’t think we matched their physicality, but as the game went on, we were able to match that,” Marist head coach John Dunne said. “There is a lot to learn from our perspective as far as growth goes, both good and bad.”
The key talking point coming into this game from a Marist point of view was how would they look after five days off. That question was quickly answered, as the Red Foxes did not start off well, particularly on the offensive end. Marist made just one of their first seven field goal attempts, trailing 7-2 with four and a half minutes into the contest.
Marist struggled to put the ball in the basket, and they let that affect their intensity on the defensive end. The team allowed Boston University’s leading-scorer Walter Whyte to get two lightly contested three-point attempts, which both would fall. All of a sudden, the Terriers were up 18-5.
The Red Foxes were in desperate need of a spark, and they got it through sophomore guard Noah Harris. He has not had the start of the season he would have hoped for, but that has not stopped his confidence from dwindling/
Harris hit two-three pointers within a matter of minutes, helping Marist climb back into the game. Marist would take their first lead of the night following a three-point make from Patrick Gardner, assisted by Harris. The Red Foxes were up 19-18 after trailing by as many as 13 early in the first half.
The rest of the half was back and forth, as both teams took turns holding the lead. Whyte hit the final shot in the first, connecting on a three-pointer with just over 30 seconds left to give the Terriers a 31-28 going into halftime.
Unlike the first half, Marist came out as the stronger side to begin the second. The Red Foxes scored the first eight points coming out of the break, giving themselves a quick 36-31 lead. That would not last for very long, as Whyte would make a layup to tie the game at 38-38 less than 90 seconds later.
The game would continue to go back and forth, as each team would lead by at least six or more at some point in the second half. As the game winded down, Boston University started to pull away. With under four minutes left in the game, the Terriers went on a 6-0 run to take a 68-60 lead with 02:31 remaining.
Marist could have thrown the towel in, but they continued to fight back. A 7-0 run, led by four points from Harris, got the Red Foxes within one possession. Boston University would eventually go to the line, where Brittain-Watts hit both of his free throws.
Trailing by three, coach Dunne called out a play to get Patrick Gardner a three-point look from the top of the key. Noah Harris set a solid screen for the center, but a foul was called on Boston University for running Harris over. Right around the same time, Gardner hit the shot which would have tied the game.
On the floor, the referees determined that the shot would not count, as the foul occurred before Gardner went into his shooting motion. Harris went to the free throw line, where he would hit one of two shots, making it a two-point game with 18 seconds left.
Marist put pressure on the ball, a decision that would result in a turnover. Jaden Daughtry stole the inbound pass, finding Isaiah Brickner wide open in the paint. He would finish the layup, tying the game at 70-70.
With the clock running down, the Terriers rushed down the floor in search of a game-winning basket. Ethan Brittain-Watts drove into the lane, taking a layup that would be a bit strong. The ball was loose for a few seconds as both teams fought for the rebound. Walter Whyte would get the board, putting the ball back up and through the net to give Boston University a two-point lead with more than three seconds remaining.
Harris inbounded the ball, throwing the pass in front of Brickner to give him a running start. The ball would end up back in the hands of Harris, who took a three-pointer from at least 30 feet away as time expired. The shot was just a bit short, giving the Terriers a critical road victory.
Walter Whyte stole the show on the night, scoring a game-high 25 points on 9-for-13 shooting from the field and 5-for-7 shooting from three. He also had eight rebounds in 32 minutes.
Noah Harris had his best scoring night of the season, finishing with a team-high 23 points on 7-for-17 shooting from the field and 7-for-16 shooting from three. The guard has now scored in double figures three times this season.
“Since I got here, Noah has been one of the best or the best shooters on the team. It feels good for him to be rewarded for all the work he does. I hope he can continue that and we will keep giving the ball to him because he is a great shooter,” Gardner said about Harris.
Patrick Gardner was impactful in a multitude of ways against the Terriers, scoring 20 points on 6-for-12 shooting from the field and 6-for-6 shooting from the free throw line. The 6-foot-11 center also had nine rebounds and career-high six assists in 31 minutes.
Marist will have a long break before their next game, returning to action against the Manhattan Jaspers to open conference play on Dec. 19. The Red Foxes split the season series against Manhattan last season, with the home team winning each of the two matchups.
Edited By Dan Aulbach
Photo By Kira Crutcher