By: Matt Doherty
After knocking off the Fordham Rams in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT), BU men’s basketball will hit the road once again. The Terriers will head to New Jersey to take on the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) Highlanders with a berth to the quarterfinals on the line.
BU used a late game comeback to pull out a 69-66 victory over the Rams at Rose Hill Gym last Wednesday evening. Senior guard John Papale led all scorers with 22 points while junior forward Eric Fanning was right behind him with 21 points and 9 boards.
The Highlanders are coming off a 79-65 win over Patriot League opponent Army, where they held the potent Black Knight offense to 15 points below their season average.
NJIT posted an 18-14 record in their first year in the Atlantic Sun Conference before being upset in the first round of the conference tournament. Junior guard Damon Lynn leads the team in scoring at 18.2 PPG while fellow junior Tim Coleman posts an impressive 13.8 PPG and 7.2 RPG stat line.
The Highlanders are certainly a program on the rise. Last year, the team finished 21-12 and made the CIT semifinals and this year’s squad is only a few wins away from duplicating that feat.
BU and NJIT had never met until this season. Back on November 19, the Terriers traveled to Newark and fell 90-76 in their third game of the season.
In that game, senior NJIT guard Ky Howard scored 20 points along with 8 rebounds and 6 assists as the Highlanders took their home opener. Also in that contest, freshman guard Kyle Foreman and senior forward Justin Alston both started and played significant minutes, but both are now out with injuries.
However, Fanning, arguably the Terriers best all around player, missed that game due to a suspension. Fanning will play a key role in Monday’s game though, as BU will try to continue their postseason run and keep the careers of seniors John Papale and Nathan Dieudonne going.
The game will also serve as another reunion for BU Head Coach Joe Jones and NJIT Head Coach Jim Engles. Engles was one of Jones’ top assistants when Jones was the head coach at Columbia in the mid 2000s.
Tip-off from an expected sold out Fleisher Athletic Center is scheduled for 7:30 PM and can be seen live on ESPN3 or heard on WTBU Sports Radio.