Jan. 1, 2014
Entering a new year, the unanimous preseason favorite Boston University men's basketball team will host its first-ever Patriot League game at Agganis Arena against Holy Cross on Thursday with tip-off slated for 7 p.m.
As part of its inaugural season in the Patriot League, BU will host every conference game, nine in total, at Agganis for the first time in program history. Fans can purchase tickets for four of the games at just $40 by clicking here.
Highlighted by wins over Maryland and Big West preseason favorite UC Irvine, the Terriers (7-6) are entering conference play with a winning record for the first time since 2004-05. They are led by the the last two Patriot League Player of the Week award recipients Maurice Watson Jr. and D.J. Irving.
The sophomore guard Watson tied his career high with 21 points and added seven assists in last Sunday's tough 73-67 defeat at Saint Joseph's to earn his first Player of the Week honor after being named Rookie of the Week four times last season. He ranks 11th nationally with a conference high 6.5 apg and sixth in the conference with a team-high 15.0 ppg.
Tabbed the Patriot League Preseason Player of the Year, Irving posted 25 points at Maryland and is currently averaging 12.3 ppg. He ranks 14th in the BU record book in career points at 1,196 and just needs 211 more to crack the top 10.
The two guards have helped BU increase its scoring average by more than five points to 71.7 ppg after the Terriers averaged 66.2 ppg last season in non-conference action. BU is averaging 0.5 more assists and has lowered last season's turnover average by one miscue a game to 12.2 tpg. Senior forward Dom Morris has been a key beneficiary of the team's crisp passing by posting a personal-best 12.4 ppg while shooting an impressive 58.1 percent from the field.
Defensively, Morris ranks second in the conference in rebounding at 7.0 rpg and is on pace to become the first Terrier since Kevin Gardner in 2005 to average at least 7.0 rpg in a season. BU ranks second in steals at 6.5 spg with Watson averaging 2.1 spg. The Terriers are 6-1 when finishing ahead in points off turnovers.
Coming off an 88-66 defeat at Michigan, The Crusaders (6-6) own a 51-12 record against BU in a series dating back to 1902-03. Holy Cross has won the last six meetings, including a 68-49 win at Agganis Arena on Jan. 2, 2009. They will face off as fellow conference members for the first time since the 1983 ECAC North title game, which the Terriers won in thrilling fashion, 63-62.
Holy Cross has played in four games against America East competition this season with a 1-1 record against Hartford and wins over Albany and New Hampshire. Standing 6-foot-9, Dave Duzinski is averaging 17.1 ppg and a league-high 7.5 rpg, while 6-foot-2 guard Cullen Hamilton is averaging 15.0 ppg.
After trying to snap an eight-game losing streak in conference openers, the Terriers will visit Lehigh in the programs' first-ever meeting on Sunday (Jan. 5) at 1 p.m. with CBS Sports Network televising the game.