By: Matt Doherty
In search of their fourth consecutive win, and sixth in the last seven games, the Boston University men’s basketball team will travel to upstate New York Wednesday night to face-off against the Colgate Red Raiders.
The Terriers (15-11, 10-4 PL) are coming off a 78-63 victory over Loyola Maryland last Saturday at home. In that game, BU used an impressive defensive effort to force 20 Greyhound turnovers from 14 steals.
Senior Eric Fanning scored 23 points while fellow classmate Justin Alston chipped in 17 points. Alston was named Patriot League Player of the Week as he averaged 19 points and 5 rebounds on 65% shooting in the two wins last week.
The formula has been pretty simple for the Terriers: when they make their outside shots and play with high intensity on the defensive end, they win. When they don’t, they lose.
The last time BU faced off against Colgate, they shot a dismal 35% FG and 25% 3FG on their way to a 67-58 loss at Case Gym. The loss was arguably one of their worst of the season as the Red Raiders came into that game at just 4-15.
Colgate has gone 4-3 since their signature win in Boston and have been especially tough to beat at Cotterell Court where they have won three of four.
The Red Raiders are led by freshman forward Will Rayman who averages nearly 15 points per game. He erupted for 21 points vs. BU in mid-January and made several key three-pointers down the stretch.
Colgate is a difficult team to defend because they have guys 1-5 that can stretch the floor and hit down perimeter shots. However, what they lack in is sheer athleticism. They struggle in half-court defense and rebounding, something the Terriers need to take advantage of.
Fresh off his PL POW award, look for Justin Alston to control the paint against a younger and smaller Red Raider front court. If the Terriers can continue to stay hot from behind the arc, they should be able to win on Wednesday.
However, if they struggle from the field and that leads to a lack of intensity on the defensive end, this is a Colgate team that has enough shot makers to capitalize on the Terriers misfortunes, just like they did at Case Gym.
BU needs the win to hold ground in their second place tie with Navy, who play at Lehigh, and keep the hope of having any shot to dethrone Bucknell for the regular season title.
The Terriers simply can’t afford a season-sweep to Colgate if they plan to stay near the top of the league standings.
Tip-off from Hamilton is scheduled for 7 pm and can be seen live on the Patriot League Network.