Feb. 14, 2014
Looking to clinch a top-four seed for the upcoming Patriot League tournament, the Boston men's basketball team will visit fellow first-year conference member Loyola Maryland on Saturday night with action slated to begin at 8 p.m.
Fans unable to attend the game will have multiple ways to follow the action. MASN and SNY will broadcast the game on television, and the Patriot League Network will carry the game online and for mobile apps. Finally, Doug Brown and Brian Maurer will also call the contest through 1510 Yahoo Sports Radio in Boston.
This past Wednesday, the Terriers (18-8, 11-2 PL) moved 10 games above .500 in a season for the first time since finishing 2005 at 20-9 with a 76-74 victory at Colgate. They also retained a share of first place in the Patriot League standings with American. Coincidentally, BU can thank both the Raiders and the Greyhounds for knocking off the Eagles in the past two weeks.
Though seventh in the PL standings at 5-8, the Greyhounds (10-14) are a better home team with a 7-3 record on the season at Reitz Arena. They've defeated the Terriers in each of the previous two seasons, highlighted by the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament first round victory over BU last March.
The Terriers avenged the loss back in January at Agganis Arena with a 71-58 win. Trailing 21-12, BU went on a 20-6 run to end the half and then held the Greyhounds to 33.3 percent shooting in the second half. Sophomore Maurice Watson Jr. posted a game-high 19 points and six assists.
Watson currently leads BU in scoring at 13.7 ppg and ranks seventh nationally in assists at 6.7 apg. He has tallied 173 assists, ninth most ever in a season in the Patriot League and eighth most at BU. Both he and senior D.J. Irving are averaging 13.5 ppg in conference play.
During the Terriers' current three-game win streak, four men are averaging double figures to help BU average 75.0 ppg and shoot 49.4 percent from the field. Sophomore John Papale
has been key, shooting 75.0 percent, to average 11.3 ppg. Senior Dom Morris
is close behind at 10.0 ppg.
On the defensive end, BU is allowing just 58.7 percent and holding opponents to 38.3 percent. The Terriers are out-rebounding opponents by a positive margin of 5.6. Junior Malik Thomas has made two of his three starts during the current stretch and has performed admirably, averaging a team-high 6.7 rpg with 6.7 ppg. Sophomore Nathan Dieudonne (6.0 rpg) and Morris (5.7 rpg) have also made key plays under the basket.
Another key stat is turnovers. BU is only averaging 9.7 miscues during the win streak while forcing opponents into 13.0 per game. Irving, Watson and freshman Cedric Hankerson have tallied four steals apiece to help limit opponents' scoring opportunities.
Loyola Maryland will prove a formidable challenge, as the Greyhounds rank 16th nationally in steals per game at 8.5 spg. They swiped the ball away from BU 10 times in the last meeting and earned 11 in the 62-58 win over American.
As a team, the Greyhounds are averaging 65.9 ppg and holding opponents to 71.6 ppg. Dylon Cormier is the Patriot League's leading scorer at 21.2 ppg but suffered a hand injury on Feb. 1 vs. Army. He was out against American, and Tyler Hubbard stepped up going 6-of-7 from behind the arc to leads Loyola to victory.
Following the game, BU will return to Agganis Arena and host its final two home games of the regular season. Fellow Patriot League No. 1 squad American is up first on Wednesday (Feb. 19) at 7 p.m.