By: Chris Lynch
After a 20 point victory over the American University Eagles, the Boston University Terriers take to the road to play the Greyhounds of Loyola Maryland on Saturday afternoon. BU comes in at second place on the Patriot League, at 8-5 in league play. Loyola is at 7-6, good for fifth place in the conference now. The outcome of this game will have a huge affect on the standings and seedlings for the Patriot League tournament.
These teams come into the game with different outlooks. The Terriers come in on a season high five game winning streak, their longest of the season so far, and come off a 20 point victory in their last game. However, they come in with a tired and injured unit. John Papale is getting over an ankle injury from the last road game against Lafayette. Cheddi Mosely hasn’t oracticed in weeks with nagging injuries. And most problematic of all, Nathan Dieudonne left the game against American late in the first half with an injury and did not return. His condition is not fully known. He is not expected to be able to play in the game against Loyola, and even if he is able to go, he will likely be sore and won’t be able to play at a hundred percent capabilities. The Terriers will miss Dieudonne if he is not in the game. He’s averaging 11.6 points and 9.8 rebounds a game in Patriot League play this season.
Loyola played poorly in their non-conference schedule, going only 1-10. Since Patriot League play began, they are just above .500. They have been competitive in almost every confer nice game, with the hilight being a double overtime thriller against Army, which they won 100-99. The last time Loyola faced off against BU was at Case, and was one of the most exciting games in conference play so far this year. On national television, Eric Fanning scored 37 points and BU defeated the Greyhounds in overtime.
Loyola has evened out their performance since then and has found a formula that can get them victories. They have the third best three point defense and the third best defensive field goal percentage in the conference, and they have the second best rebounding offense in the conference. They force you into difficult shots, get the rebound, then feed Jarred Jones, Andre Walker, or Tyler Hubbard as their main offensive weapons.
BU will have to counter with Cheddi Mosely and John Papale making three pointers and Eric Fanning driving to the hoop. Nick Havener will also have to step up and play a larger role with Dieudonne’s likely absence. BU can win the game, but it will be quite a challenge with the number of injuries they have, especially against a talented team that has given them trouble before.