BOSTON — The TD Garden played host to the inaugural Coaches vs. Cancer triple-header Sunday afternoon. The day’s first contest was a rematch between Boston University and the Northeastern Huskies, who dropped the Terriers on a buzzer-beating three pointer in last November’s season opener.
The contest came down to the final seconds once again, but the result was different this time around for head coach Joe Jones and BU. Boston, which was chosen as the preseason favorite in its new conference, the Patriot League, returned home to Commonwealth Ave. with a 72-69 victory.
The Terriers stormed back from a 63-56 deficit after sophomore guard David Walker drilled a triple at the 5:29 mark. They also left the fabled Garden unscathed despite surrendering a double-double to Northeastern’s transfer redshirt-junior forward Scott Eatherton in his Huskies’ debut.
"I thought we were able to establish our front court, which I think ultimately is going to be the core strength of our team this year going forward," Northeastern head coach Bill Coen said. "I thought they came out and really did a nice job."
The Huskies got the ball inside to Eatherton, a 6-10 forward who came from NEC member St. Francis (Pa.), on their first possession of the game. Eatherton finished his debut in red and black with 15 points and 10 rebounds. He also chipped in 3 assists and 3 blocks.
"We watched his [tape] and I saw a really, really good player," Jones said. "I thought about what a year [sitting] out with [Coen] coaching him, he could give us some problems because he’s very skilled. He can play inside and out, he’s a good passer, he’s a strong kid."
"It didn’t shock me that he had the game that he did, but we were ready to play against him today."
Jones’ two star guards certainly felt up to the challenge as well.
"We didn’t really feel like we had a size advantage," senior guard D.J. Irving said. "We have more heart than every other team that we play against. I’d rather have heart than height."
Mo Watson, a sophomore guard who scored 16 points and put BU up for good with a layup with 45 seconds remaining, summed it up best: "The bigger they are, the harder they fall."