By: Chris Lynch
After their worst loss of the season to UMass-Amherst last week, the Boston University Terriers will look to end the semester well and go into their exams with good momentum.
After an up-and-down, 2-3 road trip, BU will play its first home game since November 16, when the Harvard Crimson crosses the Charles River to take on the Terriers.
The best news coming out of the UMass game for BU is that last season’s two top scorers returned to the floor. Cedric Hankerson came off the bench and played 12 minutes, scoring 10 points in his first game since an ACL injury this offseason. Eric Fanning also returned, playing only five minutes and scoring three points. As some players returned, others sat out with injury. Rookie Kyle Foreman did not play because of an injury.
BU will return much of the same unit that played last season with Hankerson and Fanning being phased back into the rotation. Look for Hankerson to be a big part of the game plan against Harvard.
BU will also need a rebound performance from John Papale who had his worst game of the season. The Terriers’ leading scorer went only 2-9 from the field and scored only five points.
Harvard may be the four-time defending Ivy League champions, but the Crimson are struggling this season. They hold a dismal 2-6 record and have struggled on the road, going 0-5 away from Lavietes Pavillion.
The Crimson lost their top guard, Siyani Chambers, to a preseason injury and are still figuring out their system. Harvard has gotten excellent play out of their front court.
Freshman Weizner Perez is the reigning Ivy League rookie of the week, after averaging 14.0 points a game in two losses to Northeastern and #4 ranked Kansas.
Their starting center, Zena Edosomwan, is leading the team in scoring and also on the boards, with 13.1 points and 9.8 rebounds a game. Harvard leads all Ivy League teams in opponent’s points per game, at 62.9, and opponents field goal percentage, at 37.0%. The Crimson will look to make it an ugly game and challenge the Terriers in the front court.
On a positive note, BU has the talent to answer the Crimson. Nathan Dieudonne is averaging 11.4 points a game, and can score on the low block. Justin Alston scored in double digits, leading the Terriers in scoring with 13 points, and was one of the few bright spots in a forgettable game.
BU has the front court needed to match the Crimson’s forwards and defense. BU is returning much of the same team that lost badly at Harvard last season, 70-56. They have to play better after a tough game in Amherst, and have the ability to beat the Crimson tomorrow night.