UMass Lowell men’s basketball falls to Boston University at Tsongas

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UMass Lowell drops game against BU. (Photo/Justin Soderberg/Mill City Sports)
UMass Lowell drops game against BU. (Photo/Justin Soderberg/Mill City Sports)
UMass Lowell drops game against BU. (Photo/Justin Soderberg/Mill City Sports) UMass Lowell UMass Lowell men's basketball falls to Boston University at Tsongas 1210 UMLMBBvsBU 5
UMass Lowell drops game against BU. (Photo/Justin Soderberg/Mill City Sports)

LOWELL, Mass. — It wasn’t a good night of shooting for the UMass Lowell River Hawks, but it was for the Boston University Terriers. UMass Lowell found themselves on the wrong end of the scoreboard with a, 80-60, loss to the Terriers at the Tsongas Center on Thursday night.

“We dug a sizeable hole in the first half, which was probably a combination of us needing to continue to get better on defense and running into a hot-shooting, offensive team in BU,” said UMass Lowell Head Coach Pat Duquette. “We shot too many threes in the first half and are relying on that too heavily right now. We’re a good shooting team and when we make them we can stay in games, but when we don’t, it’s a different result.”

In the first half, UMass Lowell shot only 23.7% from the field and an even worse 6.3% from behind the three point line, shooting only 1-for-16. It’s tough enough to lead a ballgame when shooting that bad, but even more difficult when your opponent shoots 60.7% (17-for-28) and 60.0% (9-for-15) from three point range.

The River Hawks rough shooting from three point range was highlighted even more by the number shots they were taking in the first place. Sometimes when a team finds themselves in a deep hole, they want to try to quickly get out of that hole and develop bad habits like taking too many three pointers when you aren’t shooting well.

“I think it’s a tendency, when you are down, to get it back quickly,” said Duquette. “Right now, the reality is Jahad Thomas is our only interior scorer. If he’s not effective, we can’t always go to somebody else. That makes you one dimensional.

“We need to continue to develop Dontavious Smith. Josh Gantz can be an interior scorer, in time. Those guys are freshmen and I’m telling you we need to rely on them as freshmen, that’s not what you want to do. What they do well is they make plays, they spread the floor, they make shots and when you’re doing that you’re looking pretty good, but when they’re not able to do that and you don’t have somebody on the interior getting anything done, then you are relying strictly on three point shooting.”

The River Hawks are in their third year of Division I basketball and are still learning to play at the highest level. All these things will develop in time.

A boost UMass Lowell got in the second half was the play of DJ Mlachnik. The senior scored a game-high 13 points over only eight minutes of play, all in the second half. He went 5-for-7 from the field and knocked down 3-of-4 from three point range.

UMass Lowell men’s basketball heads to Connecticut next to take on Central Connecticut State on Friday, December 18. Tip-off set for 7:00 p.m. eastern.

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