Terriers Open New Year with 75-56 Win over Lehigh

Terriers Open New Year with 75-56 Win over Lehigh

Box Score Jan. 3, 2015

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BOSTON - Holding its third straight opponent below 40 percent shooting while trying a season high with 14 made 3-pointers, the Boston University men's basketball team rolled past Lehigh, 75-56, on Saturday afternoon in the final game of the regular season at The Roof.

Last season's split saw both games go down to the final seconds, but the third Patriot League matchup between the two teams was never in doubt. The Terriers (6-7, 2-0 PL) opened on a 19-4 run and were up by as many as 36 late in the contest against the Mountain Hawks (6-7, 0-2 PL), who had plenty of confidence after earlier road wins against both the Big East (DePaul) and Pac 12 (Arizona St.).

Sophomore Eric Fanning was one of four in double figures behind a career-high 21 points and six assists. Finishing 9-of-10 at the charity stripe, he also tied a personal best in rebounds with a game-high seven boards to help BU win the rebound battle, 39-35. Classmate Cedric Hankerson contributed 17 points and five assists while helping the defense with three steals. Freshman Cheddi Mosely also had three steals and posted 15 points on five 3-pointers. Junior John Papale (16 pts.) added four more treys, as BU finished the contest 22-of-54 (.407), including 14-of-25 (.560) from behind the arc.

Suffering its largest margin of defeat this season, Lehigh featured two players in double figures. Reigning PL Rookie of the Year Tim Kempton had 13 points, seven rebounds and six turnovers, while Austin Price contributed 10 points and six boards. A two-time PL Rookie of the Week honoree this season, Kahron Ross tallied a career-high 14 assists in the victory at Arizona State but managed just two helpers against the Terriers with two points. The Mountain Hawks finished 19-of-55 (.345), including 5-of-14 (.357) in 3-point territory. 

Hankerson opened the contest with a 3-pointer and shortly thereafter assisted on Mosely's trey to give BU its first wire-to-wire victory of the season. After Kempton pulled Lehigh within 10-4 at 14:26, Hankerson hit a 3-pointer and followed Papale's bomb with his third of the half at 11:06 for the 19-4 lead.

The Mountain Hawks cut the double-digit deficit to seven (31-24) nine minutes later on Brandon Alston's 3-pointer, but the Terriers finished the half scoring the final six points on Mosely's trey and Fanning's three free throws. Both teams combined for just six points in the paint, as BU the four more field goals from behind the arc.

In the second half, Kempton twice cut the lead to 11 points in the first 90 seconds, but the Mountain Hawks would never get any closer. Ahead 42-30 with 16:57 left in regulation, the Terriers went on a 22-4 run capped by back-to-back 3-pointers from Fanning and Papale at 9:36.

Fanning's thunderous one-handed slam dunk and Mosely's fifth 3-pointer gave BU its largest lead of the season at 7:01 (73-37). After sophomore Blaise Mbargorba kept the lead at 36 (75-39) on a pair of free throws, Lehigh scored the game's final 17 points to put the final margin of defeat under 20 points.

The Mountain Hawks outscored BU in both points in the paint (16-12) and points off turnovers (13-11), but the Terriers had nine extra 3-pointers for the comfortable victory. 

BU will next hit the road and travel to Navy on Wednesday (Jan. 7) for an 8 p.m. tip-off on the American Sports Network. A list of stations broadcasting the game will be made available prior to the battle of 2-0 Patriot League squads on http://GoTerriers.com.

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