Jan. 19, 2014
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BOSTON - Riding a five-game win streak, the Boston University men's basketball team will host Loyola Maryland at Agganis Arena on Monday night with the CBS Sports Network broadcast set to begin at 7:30 p.m.
Students are encouraged to arrive early as the first 500 will receive a free BU basketball t-shirt. It's also SAO Student Group Night, and students will have the opportunity to win money for their group.
The Terriers (12-6, 5-0 PL) won the first-ever meeting against the Greyhounds (8-8, 3-2 PL) back in 1996 at a regular season tournament but have dropped the last two contests between the two new Patriot League members, including last year's CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament first-round match-up at Reitz Arena.
BU shot 43.9 percent from the field and featured four men in double figures, but came up just short, 70-63. The Greyhounds went an impressive 10-of-20 from behind the arc and converted 16 Terrier turnovers into 18 points to pull out the win.
This season, BU is 9-2 when committing fewer turnovers than opponents and 11-3 when holding teams below 40 percent shooting in 3-point territory. Sophomore Maurice Watson Jr. has improved his assist-turnover ratio from 1.78 as a freshman to his current 2.03. He ranks seventh nationally in assists at 6.9 apg and is also leading the team in scoring at 14.6 ppg.
Last Wednesday against Colgate, the Terriers faced off against a team that was averaging 9.7 made 3-pointers and shooting over 40 percent from behind the arc. Watson, sophomore John Papale and senior Travis Robinson played key roles in defending against the 3-pointer, limiting Colgate to 8-of-28 (.286). Playing a career-high 39 minutes, Papale added two treys of his own to help BU beat the Raiders.
The front court also made valuable contributions against Colgate. Sophomore Nathan Dieudonne hauled in a game-high seven rebounds, while senior Dom Morris tallied 15 points and two steals. In conference play, the two men are averaging a combined 16.2 ppg and 11.6 rpg.
Loyola is only averaging 5.3 made 3-pointers per game this season but is still creating havoc for offenses. The Greyhounds rank 17th nationally in steals at 8.9 ppg and also own a positive turnover margin of 2.6. Point guard R.J. Williams had seven assists and one turnover last year against the Terriers and is currently averaging 4.1 apg, 8.1 ppg and 2.6 spg. Dylon Cormier is just behind in steals at 2.2 spg while leading Loyola in both scoring (22.6 ppg) and rebounding (6.3 rpg).
The Greyhounds started the season 4-0 before going 1-6 during the next seven games. They are 3-2 in conference play and will try to extend their current win streak to three games after winning at home against Lehigh (72-68) and Lafayette (77-63).
After the two teams face off, BU will have a quick turnaround and travel to American University on Wednesday (Jan. 22) for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off between the top two squads in the conference standings.