Boston University vs. Loyola Game Recap: Terriers Get Boost From Watson Off Bench

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Maurice Watson Jr. sat for the first 10 minutes of Boston University's game against Loyola. When he stepped on the floor, the real show began.

We should just chalk this one up to a case of delayed gratification. After all, we got what we wanted. We just had to wait, and wait, and wait for it.

Maurice Watson Jr. sat on the bench for the first 10 minutes of Boston University's game against fellow Patriot League newcomer Loyola. D.J. Irving sat for a little less time to begin the game. Even the Greyhounds' Dylon Cormier waited to get his first action.

But when they emerged -- first Cormier, then Irving and finally Watson -- they changed the face of the game. And Watson most of all, he was the catalyst behind the Terriers' 72-58 win over Loyola.

The Terriers looked rattled to begin the game. The coach took away their two best playmakers, put them into a zone defensive scheme and then asked them to compete. It is a lesson that Boston University will need to learn; they just looked unprepared to learn it so soon.

So when Loyola ran on them, made them turn the ball over, and started hitting shots in the soft underbelly of the defense, the Terriers were rattled.

The good news for BU was that when Cormier appeared on the floor, he couldn't do anything.

Enter D.J. Irving. His presence on the floor was calming. It wasn't going to be enough to lead the Terriers back, but it started to stem the tide. Loyola charged into the center of the lane, no longer content to work the ball around. It was as if they were getting nervous.

It wouldn't be surprising. There was a big spectre lurking on the Boston University bench.

Ten minutes passed, and there was Watson.

He cut to the hoop, and scored. He stole the ball, ran the floor and scored. The Terriers became whole again when he reached the floor. This was the spark, and the fire didn't stop burning for the next 30 minutes.

But it wasn't just Watson and Irving. They helped keep the team together and led the charge, but they were not it. They simply directed the action.

No, without the interior defense of Nathan Dieudonne and Cedric Hankerson, Cormier might have been the Terriers' undoing. He wasn't. Cormier managed to get off just eight shots on the night, and finished with 14 points. He led the Greyhounds; but because he couldn't get the ball more often, he couldn't be more damaging.

John Papale held to lead the offensive charge when the two directors were on the bench, and he helped to facilitate for Irving and Watson later on.

And of course, there was Irving and Watson. Irving scored 14 points, including back-to-back 3-pointers that made the crowd stand and cheer (one of which had an amazing pass from Watson preceeding it; the other, wouldn't you know, was another Watson assist.).

Of course Watson helped. Of course he did. He missed just two shots himself Monday night, both 3-pointers -- and the one he did hit was killer.. He scored 19 points. He assisted on six more baskets.

He led the charge.

For Loyola's sake, maybe it was a good thing that he sat out for the first quarter of the game. Otherwise, this could have been very ugly.

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