BOSTON — Boston University taught the University of Maine a lesson Saturday in their America East men’s basketball regular-season finale.

”We came down here and knew it was going to be a tough environment,” Maine Coach Ted Woodward said after the Terriers routed the Black Bears, 76-56. ”You’re talking about a ton of guys who’ve been all-conference and who’ve never have had the opportunity to go to the NCAA tournament. This is a league that has a lot of players that haven’t been to the NCAA tournament. It’s a hard thing to get to in our conference.

”This doesn’t diminish anything that we’ve done throughout the course of the year. We’re still a relatively young basketball team and it’s a good lesson today to make sure that we come out and continue to grow up as a team.”

The Terriers (17-12, 11-5 America East) stunted whatever growth the Black Bears (19-10, 11-5) might have experienced by racing to a 24-9 lead less than eight minutes into the game.

Corey Lowe (11 points), BU’s career scoring leader, set the tone by burying a 3-point shot on his team’s first possession.

By the time Woodward called his second timeout, John Holland (23 points) had made three 3-pointers and BU had connected on 9 of its first 16 shots while building that 15-point lead.

”Whenever you come on out on your first possession, and no matter who it is, if we hit our first shot as a team, it’s going to have a positive effect on us,” Lowe said. ”It gives us a little energy and it sets the tone.”

In this case, BU’s early burst set the tone at both ends of the court.

For example:

n This was only the second conference game this season in which Maine allowed more than 70 points, noteworthy considering the Black Bears came in ranked 35th in the nation in scoring defense (61.4 point per game).

n Maine was ranked 30th in the nation in field-goal percentage defense (.391). Granted, BU finished at a modest 41 percent, but a significant number of missed shots came late in the game after Coach Pat Chambers emptied his bench.

n The Black Bears went on a 10-0 run late in the first half to pull within 36-24 at intermission. But the Terriers opened the second half with a 22-9 run that included a pair of 3-pointers by former Deering High standout Carlos Strong (11) and produced a 58-33 lead with 12:09 left.

Gerald McLemore was the only Black Bear to score in double figures, with 15 points for Maine, who will be the third seed in the America East tournament.

”I got some good looks but they played me tough,” McLemore said. ”They really challenged us and played us tough one through five.

”They played with a lot of heart and played tougher than us.”