Thursday, January 27, 2011

From the FreeP: Partin, Morris step up in hard-fought victory

By René Reyes/DFP Staff

After fielding a barrage of questions from reporters following the Boston University men’s basketball team’s matchup with Binghamton University, junior guard Darryl Partin arose from his chair and received a well-deserved handshake from BU coach Patrick Chambers.

“Good job, Darryl,” Chambers told him. “See ya, buddy. Get some rest.”

All Partin did was score 13 of his 20 points in the second half to lead the late surge that catapulted the Terriers to a 71-66 victory over the Bearcats Wednesday night at Agganis Arena.

One player not included in the postgame press conference, but whose impact on the game was undeniable, was freshman forward Dom Morris, who finished with a season-high 15 points and aided Partin in completing BU’s comeback.

The pair combined for 22 points in the final frame on 7-of-15 shooting from the field and were instrumental in securing BU’s fifth win in America East play on a night when senior forward John Holland struggled to find his shot and the Terriers were without the services of junior forward Jake O’Brien (ankle) for the eighth straight contest.

When guard Jimmy Gray sunk a trey with 15:38 to go, the Bearcats seized a 42-39 advantage that would balloon between a one-point and six-point edge over the course of the half. But thanks to Partin and Morris, the Terriers were able to cut into that deficit. BU outscored Binghamton, 32-24, in those last 15 minutes, as Partin showed off his midrange jumper and Morris displayed his sweet touch from beyond the 3-point arc and from the free throw line.

Morris, the 240-pound big man from Newark, Del., finished with five rebounds – three of them in the second half – and made life difficult for the Bearcats on the defensive end with his imposing presence.

“Dom’s huge,” Partin said. “We need every guy when we’re on the court. Dom’s huge. He really stepped up, played terrific for us. We know what he can do. He does it everyday to us in practice. We’re used to it, but it’s great that he’s throwing a little bruises on somebody else too.”

Morris was sidelined for three contests in early January after having surgery for a non-related basketball injury, and it was especially encouraging for Chambers to see one of his top recruits emerge and contribute offensively against Binghamton.

“We need another scorer,” Chambers said. “It’s tough to rely on [freshman guard] D.J. [Irving] and John all the time. It was nice to add somebody new to the mix. For us to be a really good team, which I still think we can be without Jake, Dom Morris needs to get us 15 [points], 12 [points], eight rebounds.”

Partin, on other hand, had a rough time getting out of the gate, missing five of the first six shots he attempted. By the end of the first half, he had seven points on paltry 3-of-9 shooting.

The transfer from La Salle University was asked how he worked himself out of the funk early in the game when he was coming up empty on wide-open shot opportunities.

“At BU, we don’t focus on missing shots,” Partin said. “Shots come and go. As long as you just focus on defending and rebounding, that’s what wins games. That’s what we’re taught and that’s what we do.”

Partin’s 20-point effort Wednesday evening marked his sixth game of the season with 20 or more points. But for the native of Seattle, Wash., that stat didn’t mean a thing.

“I’m just focusing on defense and rebounding,” Partin said. “I continue to say that, but that’s what we really believe, from every player down the line in our locker room. That’s what we’re focused on. It doesn’t really matter. 20 points, 10 points, it really doesn’t make a difference as long as you’re focused on your teammates and giving your best effort for each guy in the locker room.”

Though his team-high 20 points helped earn him the AE Player of the Game award, Partin was more pleased with another one of his numbers, according to Chambers.

“Darryl’s more proud of the eight rebounds,” Chambers said. “Trust me.”

Partin nodded and agreed with his bench boss.

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