Boston University, American Advance to Patriot League Men's Basketball Championship

PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG Boston University's Maurice Watson Jr. set the school and Patriot League Tournament record with 17 assists in a win over Army on Saturday.
PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG
Boston University's Maurice Watson Jr. set the school and Patriot League Tournament record with 17 assists in a win over Army on Saturday.
PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG

March 8, 2014

Patriot League Men's Basketball Tournament Central

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - The top two seeds in the Patriot League Men's Basketball Tournament won on their home courts in Saturday's semifinals, and it will be No. 2 American at No. 1 Boston University in the League Championship on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.

The Terriers (24-9) had another record-setting performance in a 91-70 victory over fifth-seed Army (15-16). Sophomore guard Maurice Watson Jr. dished out 17 assists in the victory, setting the Patriot League Tournament and school record, and in the process became the League's all-time single-season assist leader with 231. Watson was one of five Terriers in double figures as they broke open a close game with a 31-12 run in the second half while shooting 67.7% from the field in the period and 58.7% for the game.

While Boston University was blowing away Army with its offense, American (19-12) locked down defensively and went on a 28-7 run over the final 16 minutes to rally from a 10-point second-half deficit for a 57-46 win over third-seed Holy Cross (19-13). The Eagles advance to the League title game for the first time since 2009.

Boston University and American split their matchups during the regular season, with each squad winning at home. The Eagles blew away the Terriers 86-56 in Washington on Jan. 22, with the Terriers answering with a 71-62 victory in Boston on Feb. 19. American is in its sixth Patriot League title game, and first since winning its two titles consecutively in 2008 and 2009. Boston University advances to the final in its first season in the Patriot League, and last won a conference championship in the America East in 2011.

The Patriot League Men's Basketball Championship will be televised nationally on CBS Sports Network, with a national radio broadcast also available through Westwood One. Tickets for the contest at Agganis Arena are now on sale here

 

 

Recaps, box scores and a synopsis from each of Saturday's semifinal games will be available later in the evening. For more information, visit Patriot League Men's Basketball Tournament Central

Patriot League Men's Basketball Tournament - Semifinals

at #1 Boston University 91, #5 Army 70
Box Score
*Maurice Watson Jr. had a record-setting night to lead top-seed Boston University into the Patriot League title game with a 91-70 win over fifth-seed Army on Saturday at Agganis Arena. *Watson had 17 assists in the game, setting a school record and shattering the previous Patriot League Tournament high of 12 while also establishing the top mark in a Division I game this season.
*Watson has also established a Patriot League single-season record of 231 assists, suprassing the mark of 225 set by American's Andres Rodriguez in 2003-04.
*Watson had 11 assists in the second half alone as BU blew the game open by making 21-of-31 field goals and scoring 52 points.
*BU took a slim 39-35 lead into the break, and saw Army tie the score in the early minutes of the second half.
*The Terriers pulled back ahead, but the game stayed tight with BU leading 55-50 with just over 11 minutes to play.
*The Terriers caught fire from there, putting the game away with a 31-12 run that stretched the lead to 86-62 with three minutes left.
*Five Terriers scored in double figures, led by D.J. Irving with 20.
*Dom Morris scored 16 points, Malik Thomas had 15, John Papale tallied 12 and Watson finished with 10.
*Watson led the Terriers to a 22-assist night with just nine turnovers overall, and personally had just one turnover to go with his 17 assists.
*BU shot 37-of-63 (58.7%) for the game, with the same amount of field goals and points as their 37-point win over Lafayette in the quarterfinals on Saturday.
*BU became the second team to win quarterfinals and semifinals in the Patriot League Tournament by 20 points or more, joining Bucknell (2012).
*The Terriers are also just the third team to top 90 points in two League Tournament games, joining Navy (1994) and Holy Cross (1991).
*Before this season, the last team to hit 90 points in any League Tournament game was Navy in the 2001 quarterfinals.
*BU's 24 wins are its highest total since claiming 25 victories while making the NCAA Tournament in 1996-97. *The No. 1 seed has advanced to the Patriot League Championship in all 24 seasons of the League Tournament.
*BU's win coupled with American's victory means higher seeds are 46-2 in the Patriot League semifinals, and home teams are 27-3 overall and 19-1 in the last 10 years.
*The Terriers won all three games against the Black Knights this season.
*Kyle Wilson led Army with 22 points, while Dylan Cox scored 12 and Tanner Plomb finished with 11.
*The Black Knights held a 36-28 rebounding advantage with 19 offensive boards, but shot just 25-of-59 overall and 5-of-23 from three-point range.
*Army fell in the semifinal round for the second year in a row, and has never advanced to the Patriot League Championship despite seven semifinal appearances.

at #2 American 57, #3 Holy Cross 46
Box Score
*Trailing by 10 points with 16 minutes to play, American dug in on defense and only allowed seven points the rest of the way to pull out a 57-46 win over Holy Cross in the Patriot League Tournament semifinals on Saturday at Bender Arena.
*After Holy Cross closed the first half with a 21-6 run to go up 28-22 at the break, the Crusaders pushed the lead to 39-29 four minutes into the second half.
*American started its game-closing 28-7 run from there by scoring eight straight points to trim the gap to 39-37 with 11:12 to go.
*After Holy Cross briefly stopped the run with a basket, American scored 12 consecutive points to turn it into a 20-2 stretch and grab a 49-41 lead with 3:16 to play.
*The Crusaders had only one field goal in more than 14 minutes of playing time during American's 20-2 stretch.
*The lead never dipped below six from there as the Eagles went on to the 57-46 win.
*Jesse Reed led American with 18 points, while Darius Gardner and Kyle Kager each added 10.
*Reed, Gardner, Tony Wroblicky and John Schoof each played all 40 minutes for the Eagles.
*The Eagles were well below their average at 44.4% from the field, but held Holy Cross to 38.0% and only turned it over seven times.
*American is the first team to hold consecutive opponents to 50 points or less in the Patriot League Tournament since Bucknell did it in 2007.
*American advances to its sixth League Championship game, and first since winning its two titles consecutively in 2008 and 2009.
*The Eagles had lost their last three semifinal appearances from 2010-12, and improved to 6-6 in the semifinal round.
*American evened its record against Holy Cross to 3-3 in the Patriot League Tournament, winning the last three meetings all at Bender Arena.
*American won its ninth-straight home game overall against the Crusaders since beginning the run in the 2008 League Tournament quarterfinals.
*The Eagles won all three games against the Crusaders this year, and have won seven of the last nine against Holy Cross overall.
*BU's win coupled with American's victory means higher seeds are 46-2 in the Patriot League semifinals, and home teams are 27-3 overall and 19-1 in the last 10 years.
*The No. 2 seed has a 10-1 head-to-head advantage against No. 3, with 10 straight wins in the matchup.
*Holy Cross fell to 10-4 in the semifinal round, but has lost its last two appearances after also falling at Lafayette in 2010.
*Dave Dudzinski led the Crusaders with 22 points, while Malcolm Miller and Anthony Thompson each added 10.
*The rest of the team combined for four points on 2-of-15 shooting.
*Holy Cross falls to 19-13 overall, and is eligible to compete in a postseason tournament.