**Reminder: Join head coach Nathan Davis and select Bison players on Thursday at Matty's Sporthouse Grill for the January Backcourt Club Luncheon. The event starts at noon, and the $10 entry includes lunch and a chance to win prizes.**
LEWISBURG, Pa - The Bucknell men's basketball team suffered an 84-79 loss to Boston University on Tuesday night at Sojka Pavillion. The loss snapped the Bison's 15-game home winning-streak and evened their league record at 1-1. Bucknell's last home loss came against Lehigh on Jan. 11, 2017.
Now 7-8 overall, the Bison trailed most the contest and found themselves down by as many as 15 in the first half. Bucknell committed an uncharacteristic 19 turnovers, more than seven over its season average, including 14 in the first half, leading to 24 points by the Terriers. Boston University (6-7, 2-0 PL), playing a 2-3 zone for much of the night, recorded 12 of its 13 steals in the first half, including four during a tide-turning 18-0 run over a three-minute, 30-second span that gave the Terriers a 35-20 lead with 3:30 to go in the first half.
Bucknell closed the half on a 10-2 run to cut its deficit to seven at the half, 37-30. The Terriers went back up by 11 with two minutes to play before Bucknell cut the margin to three a couple of times, but the Terriers made 10 straight free throws to hold the Bison at bay.
The Bison were led by 25 points, 13 rebounds and three steals by Zach Thomas, and Bruce Moore added a career-high 18 points and three blocks. Nana Foulland, who was averaging 23.0 points over his last four games, was limited to four shots in 18 minutes due to foul trouble and finished with eight points. Nate Sestina came off the bench and logged 14 points and eight rebounds in 24 minutes, and Stephen Brown also got into double figures with 10 points.
While the Bison struggled to get the ball into the interior of Boston University's zone, they also had a hard time finding open 3-point shooters and finished 6 of 21 from the arc. Bucknell shot 43.3 percent overall and hit 21 of 29 at the foul line.
Cedric Hankerson, this week's Patriot League Player of the Week, backed up a 33-point effort in a win over Army West Point with 21 in this one. He was 10-for-13 from the foul line, all in the second half. In fact, after not getting to the charity stripe at all in the first half, the Terriers went 19-for-27 (.704) in the second. They entered the night ranked last in the nation in free-throw shooting at 56.9 percent, but after Bucknell made a last-ditch run in final minutes, the Terriers finished it off at the line.
Sukhmail Mathon's layup with 2:56 to go put the Terriers ahead 74-63, but the Bison had one last run. Sestina scored off a lob pass from Brown, and then Thomas turned a takeaway at midcourt into a transition layup while drawing a foul. He missed the free throw, but Moore went up high for the rebound and was fouled. He made both attempts and suddenly it was a 74-69 game.
After Javante McCoy split a pair at the stripe, Thomas banked in a 3-pointer from the left wing to make it a one-possession game at 75-72 with 59 seconds left. Hankerson drove to the basket at the other end and drew a foul. He made both free throws, which marked the first of four straight times the Terriers went 2-for-2 at the stripe to answer a Bucknell score that cut the margin to three.
After McCoy made a pair for an 83-79 lead, Moore went 1-for-2 at the line to leave the margin at four with just eight seconds left, and the Bison ran out of time.
Thomas recorded his 10th 20-point game and sixth double-double of the season, despite playing while under the weather. He jumped past Hall-of-Famers Jim Wherry and Mike Butts into 13th place on Bucknell's all-time scoring list with 1,365 points.
Moore enjoyed his best game of the year with the career-high points to go along with five rebounds and three blocked shots. He hit 5 of his 7 field-goal attempts, including 3 of 4 from the arc, and added 5 of 6 at the foul line.
Will Goff hit 5 of 7 from long range and scored 17 points off the bench for Boston University. Scanlon (14) and McCoy (13) also reach double figures. The Terriers snapped a seven-game series losing streak to Bucknell.
The Bison now must play four of their next five and six of their next eight games on the road. The stretch starts with a trip to West Point on Friday for a 7 p.m. game.