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Boston University vs. Lehigh Game Recap: Offensive Execution Down Stretch Makes Difference

In a game that was back and forth for forty minutes, it seems only fitting that the final outcome - and an early conference lead - would come down to execution on the offensive end.

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Mackey McKnight drove the lane with Lehigh down two to Boston University. The clock was running out. He needed the basket to get the tie.

And just like he had all day when the Mountain Hawks needed it, McKnight found a way to score. Even better, he was fouled and went calmly to the line and knocked down the only free throw he would make on the day.

With eight seconds remaining, all that Lehigh had to do was play decent defense and they would take home the win.

Only they couldn't play that defense. Much like most of the afternoon, the Mountain Hawks left a path to the basket open, and then were late trying to recover. They fouled D.J. Irving, who went to the line and made both free throws given the Terriers the win instead.

On an afternoon where neither team could effectively shut down their opponent, it seemed only fitting to end this way.

But along the way, both teams certainly showed something about how they are going to compete in the Patriot League.

For Lehigh, it was all Mackey McKnight. He isn't C.J. McCollum, and we have said in the past that it isn't fair to try and make him McCollum. But McKnight showed Sunday that he can be just as good in other ways, and truly lead his team back.

McKnight went 9-for-17 from the field and made four of his seven 3-point attempts on his way to 23 points. He also had five assists and committed just two turnovers while handling the ball almost every step of the way.

For Boston University, it came down to D.J. Irving's execution but there was not a reliance on any one player along the way. Maurice Watson performed well distributing the ball to the tune of 12 assists to go with his 10 points, while Irving finished with 14 and Dom Morris scored 15.

This is the way they did it last season. This is the way they are looking to do again this year. Distribute the ball, and do what they can to shoot well.

The 3-point shot wasn't there for the Terriers on Sunday as they hit just 6 of 25 from behind the arc, but they did just well enough on the offensive boards to prevent too many one and done empty possessions.

But really the concern for both teams has to be the defense. Neither squad was able to close out the lane with any effectiveness. Neither one could get the stops on a consistent basis.  They totaled five steals and three blocks for the game.

Total. For Both Teams.

All it will take is a team to get hot against them and both of these teams are going to be vulnerable. And that shold have these teams worried.

For now, the Terriers take control of the conference with a 2-0 mark.