BOSTON -- This one was over early.
“Give Boston University all the credit tonight,” UMBC coach Randy Monroe said after the game, “because they certainly came out and pushed us around a little bit and I don’t think we responded very well.”
The win was the seventh straight for BU, improving the Terriers’ America East record to 7-1 and evening their overall record at 11-11.
“I was very pleased with our overall effort,” Terriers coach Joe Jones said. “I thought we got some very good contributions from a number of guys. I thought in particular Travis Robinson was terrific in the first half, making a ton of effort plays. He had four offensive rebounds for the game and I thought that really set the tone.”
Robinson had two offensive rebounds on one play, in fact.
Patrick Hazel passed out of the post to D.J. Irving, who swung to an open Darryl Partin for a right-wing 3-point try. The shot rimmed out, and Robinson grabbed the carom. His putback bounced out, he grabbed the carom again and went back up. This time his layup was true, he got fouled in the effort and after a timeout sank the free throw to finish the 3-point play.
That hustle play put the Terriers up 12-6, and the lead only grew from there.
“We just got a lot of open looks,” Robinson said. “We was dissecting the zone pretty good so I just got a lot of open shots. And I just knocked them down when I could.”
Although the Terriers shot just 3-for-13 on 3-pointers in the first 20 minutes, they held a sizable advantage on points in the paint (24-14), second-chance points (13-2) and bench points (10-2) and led 39-22 at the half. Robinson led all scorers with 10 at the break.
While Robinson didn’t score in the second half, he really didn’t have to. Partin had eight of his 17 points in the second stanza, Irving scored seven of his nine and Malik Thomas chipped in nine off the bench.
The Terriers led the Retrievers (3-17, 2-6) by as many as 37 in the second half.
It’s been an up-and-down year in Jones’ first season on this part of Comm. Ave., as the Terriers have a unique pattern in their results column.
The win-loss record looks like this: L-L-L-L-W-W-W-W-L-L-L-L-L-L-L-W-W-W-W-W-W-W.
Asked to explain the odd symmetry in their season, Partin said there are a number of factors.
“We were like brand new to each other in the beginning of the season,” he said, referring to the coaching change. “We had injuries, a key one with D.J. [who missed three games]. And we scheduled a very tough nonconference schedule.”
Seven of the Terriers’ 11 losses have come to teams with RPIs between 50 and 75.
“It was a very tough nonconference schedule,” Partin said. “So that’s how we like it, and that’s how we want to get prepared for the league, so we’re not running around just playing light teams. I think it really gets us prepared and ready for days like today and our league in general.”
While it may be unwise to draw conclusions from a home blowout of a team that came into the game with a 3-16 record, on Tuesday the Terriers sure seemed like a team ready for better competition.
Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.