The Boston U. Terriers joined the Patriot League for the 2013-14 season and immediately became the conference favorites. They went through the first part of the schedule unbeaten before hitting some speed bumps in the middle, but finished the season strong. The conference season came full circle on Saturday as the Terriers beat the Holy Cross Crusaders 68-64 in Worcester to clinch their first-ever Patriot League regular season crown.
D.J. Irving scored a team-high 15 points to go with five rebounds, three assists and three steals while Dom Morris scored 14 points with six rebounds for the Terriers. Holy Cross was paced by 20 points from Dave Dudzinski, but the rest of the Crusaders' starting lineup was just 11-for-27 from the field.
Travis Robinson drilled a three with 13:31 to go, breaking a 43-43 tie, that gave BU the lead for the rest of the game. Holy Cross would get as close as two on several occassions, but were never able to overcome the Terriers' typically stout defense.
A John Papale three with 2:10 to play looked to be the death blow, stretching the lead to five, but Malachi Alexander answered with a three of his own to close the lead back to just two. The teams would trade possessions before a Papale miss gave Holy Cross the ball with the shot clock turned off.
Anthony Thompson took the ball to the hole and had a case for a foul, but the whistle stayed in the referees pocket, BU got possession back and Irving buried two free throws to give BU the final lead. Thompson drove to the rim again but couldn't get it to fall.
The win gives BU the coveted home-court advantage throughout the Patriot League Tournament, something that looked to be in doubt after the Terriers went on the aforementioned mini-losing streak that included a 30-point loss to American. All is forgotten now as they will now enjoy the comfort of Boston from now until a possible first-round NCAA Tournament game.
Not bad for Year One.