By Luke Coughlan/DFP Staff
WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Boston University men’s basketball coach Patrick Chambers knew that he would need to recruit some experience for his second-year squad when he took the helm for a Terrier team with nine seniors last season. With just four returning players lined up for his second year leading the team, Chambers recruited junior transfer students Patrick Hazel, Matt Griffin and Darryl Partin, and on Sunday night, they returned the favor in a big way, each putting his signature on a 55-49 America East tournament semifinal victory over University of Hartford.
In one of the most closely contested games of the tournament thus far, the Terriers’ three journeymen each posted impressive numbers. They radiated poise and composure all game long on their opponent’s home court and with more than 2,000 Hawks fans doing their best to distract them.
“I’m really proud of these guys because when things were against us they kept a great attitude,” Chambers said of his team following the victory. “They kept grinding. They kept playing. They didn’t get down. They didn’t hang their heads once. They really showed their maturity. I’m really proud of them.”
Although senior forward John Holland dominated the stat sheet with a game-high 16 points and a team-leading seven rebounds, it would be hard to argue that BU would be hosting the AE championship game on Saturday without any of the three transfers.
Hazel was BU’s leading presence under the basket all game long. Not only did Hazel do what he does best to the tune of two dunks for a perfect 2-for-2 shooting clip from the field, four rebounds and the game’s only three blocks, he also did well in one aspect where he has struggled all season long: free-throw shooting.
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