By: Matt Doherty
In their first match-up since last year’s Patriot League Quarterfinal, Boston University will host American University on Wednesday night at Case Gym in search of revenge.
In the quarterfinal game last March, the upset-minded Eagles came to Boston and knocked off the third seeded Terriers, 69-64, to end BU’s season.
The Terriers return all but two players from that team as they look to upend American and improve to 5-0 in conference play.
After a difficult non-conference campaign, BU has rattled of four consecutive wins, highlighted by a 91-75 thrashing of Lafayette on Sunday in which they set a school record by hitting 18 three-pointers made. BU has turned a corner thanks to its defensive efforts but Sunday’s game showed this team still has the ability to light up the scoreboard.
On the other hand, the always-pesky Eagles are off to a 1-3 start to Patriot League play and a 4-11 mark overall. Just like last year, this is an American team that has struggled to score consistently.
They average a measly 62 PPG, resulting in a poor record. However, AU prefers to run their Princeton-style offense and use a slow, grind-it-out type of game. This has resulted in many close losses for the Eagles, especially in league play where all their games have come down to the wire.
Freshman guard Sa’eed Nelson leads the visitors in scoring with 16.1 PPG and he is joined by reigning PL Freshman of the Year Delante Jones. (11.9 PPG). Similar last year, this is a Terrier team that possesses a whole lot more talent than American.
BU faced a similar team to American in Holy Cross just two weeks ago, when they beat the Crusaders 61-55. This time around against American, the Terriers need to focus on controlling the glass and putting together complete effort on the defensive end.
On offense, it starts with taking care of the ball and being efficient. If the Terriers can score at will like they did Sunday, then they should have no problem. American simply does not have the firepower to keep up with BU on offense.
They key number in this game is 70. The Terriers are just 2-6 when they allow more than 70 points to an opponent while American has only scored 70 points or more three times all season. If BU scores more than 70 points, they should have no trouble earning the revenge they seek.
Tip-off is scheduled for 7 pm and can be heard on mixlr.com/wtbusports.