By: Chris Lynch
The Boston University Terriers got themselves off the schnide with a strong defensive game against the defending conference champion Lafayette Leopards. They stopped a three game losing streak with a 68-47 victory over Lafayette, and they have an excellent chance to build a new winning streak with their next game. They travel to Washington DC and play the American University Eagles.
American has struggled mightily this season. They are 2-13 on the season and 0-4 so far in Patriot League play. They have lacked offense all season. American is averaging 52.0 points a game this season, last in the Patriot League and trailing the next team on the scoring list by 14 points. They have only one player averaging double digit points. Senior guard Jesse Reed is averaging 12.0 points a game.
The next scorer is junior Paris Maragkos, at 9.7 points a game, and no one else is averaging more than 8.6 points a game. American is also last in scoring differential, at -15. The Eagles are also the worst rebounding offense in the league, averaging only 25.8 rebounds a game, and have the worst rebounding differential at -6.
American does have some defensive prowess. They are tied for the second best scoring defense in the league, allowing 67 points a game this season. In their victories this season against New Hampshire and Youngstown State, the Eagles’ defense allowed only 50 and 56 points respectively. BU had some trouble against UNH, a team that American beat handily.
BU comes in with some momentum off a 21 point victory over Lafayette. They recorded their highest team rebounding total since 1999 with 55 rebounds. Two players, Nick Havener and Nathan Dieudonne, finished with 11 rebounds a piece. Dieudonne added 11 points for his second double double on the season. Look for both Havener and Dieudonne to attack the glass and control the backboards for the game at Bender Arena.
Eric Fanning got a start in the Lafayette game after his role was changed from being the 6th man to being a starter. Fanning earned his spot, scoring 22 points, most for any Terrier this season, and added seven rebounds in the game. He will have to take on more responsibility the rest of the season with the team racked with injuries. Look for him to drive and attack the basket regularly.
BU can win this game and can use the game to build a conference winning streak. They need to attack the basket regularly, minimize the turnovers, play hard defense against a team that has struggled on the offensive side of the ball, and play mistake free basketball. If they do that, they will win consecutive games for the second time this season.