By: Matt Doherty
John Papale and Nathan Dieudonne will be honored for Senior Day on Saturday as the Holy Cross Crusaders come to town for the final regular season contest of the year, with major tournament implications at stake.
With one game remaining for all Patriot League teams before the conference tournament kicks off next week, the current standings look like this:
- Bucknell: 13-4
- Lehigh: 12-5
- Boston University: 10-7
- Army: 9-8
- Navy: 9-8
- Colgate: 9-8
- American: 8-9
- Loyola: 8-9
- Holy Cross: 5-12
- Lafayette: 2-15
If BU wins, they will be safely entrenched in the number three spot and will host the six seed next Thursday. The only way the Terriers will not play at Case Gym next week is if they lose on Saturday and either Army and Colgate or Army and Navy both wn.
The potential outcomes and road playoff games will all be avoided though as long as the Terriers take care of business against Holy Cross. The Crusaders (10-18, 5-12 PL) have lost four in a row and six of their last seven with the only win coming against cellar dweller Lafayette.
However, the Crusaders do own a win over BU, a 80-64 victory over the Terriers back in late December to begin league play. The teams have taken two different paths since that game though with BU flirting at the top and Holy Cross at the bottom.
The Terriers lost their chance at a top two seed with consecutive losses to Bucknell and Army this week. The absence of Nathan Dieudonne has been felt in the losses after he injured his ankle against American five games ago. Lacking their defensive anchor and rim protector, BU has given up 80 points in each loss.
Dieudonne and sharp shooter John Papale will be honored for Senior Day in their final regular season game at Case Gym. The two veterans have certainly made an impact on the program with Dieudonne, the former Mr. Basketball in the state of Kentucky, becoming a solid interior scorer and rebounder and Papale being cemented as one of the best three point shooters in school history. With 30 minutes of game action on Saturday, Papale will become the all time minutes leader at BU and is currently second all time in three pointers made.
Fellow senior Justin Alston will not join his two classmates in the Senior Day festivities because Alston, who broke his foot in early December and hasn’t played since, will receive a medical redshirt to play next year.
Dieudonne is also unlikely to play in the game still dealing with the ankle injury but should be ready to go for the conference tournament.
A poor shooting game hurt the Terriers in their lost at Holy Cross so Eric Fanning and Cheddi Mosely need to make shots early and often to pick up the win.
A win for BU is key to not only snap a two game losing skid but to enter the most important time of the year with momentum and on their home court.
Tip-off from Case Gym is scheduled for 12 PM and can be heard on WTBU Sports.