BOSTON – Selected second in the Patriot League preseason poll, the Boston University men's basketball team will open conference play at home against Holy Cross on Friday with the Turnpike Trophy matchup slated for 7 p.m.
- In the summer of 2015, BU and Holy Cross announced the creation of the all-sports Turnpike Trophy competition with a point being awarded to the victor in each sporting event.
- The Terriers are the reigning champions after posting a winning score of 20-4 last year with the men's basketball teams both earning a point after both squads won at home.
- BU is currently ahead, 4-1, following the completion of the fall schedule with wins in men's cross country, field hockey, men's soccer and women's soccer.
- BU is 5-1 at home this season with wins over Northeastern (65-63), Maine (102-78), LIU Brooklyn (86-69), New Hampshire (73-69) and Western New England (91-54) with a loss to Canisius (87-77).
- Selected second in the Patriot League preseason poll, the Terriers finished third last year in the conference standings with an 11-7 record ... They have posted a .500 or better record in conference play each of the last 16 seasons, which is the t-11th longest streak in the country.
- The Terriers are 2-3 in conference openers under sixth-year head coach Joe Jones with 80-64 home win and 75-72 overtime road victory against Holy Cross.
- After tallying a career-high 24 points at UMass Lowell back on Dec. 21, senior Justin Alston is now one of three Terriers averaging double figures at 10.3 ppg with senior Eric Fanning leading the way at 13.2 ppg ... Junior Cedric Hankerson is No. 2 in scoring at 12.1 ppg.
- Sophomore Kyle Foreman (6.1 ppg) dished out a personal-best 10 assists at UMass Lowell and now ranks second in the PL in assists at 5.1 apg ... Over the last five games, he is averaging 7.2 apg.
- Defensively, junior Nick Havener (5.6 ppg) leads BU in rebounding at 6.2 rpg with Fanning (5.3 rpg) and Alston (5.2 rpg) close behind ... Hankerson leads in steals at 1.9 spg.
- Since joining the starting lineup at Syracuse on Dec. 10, freshman Tyler Scanlon is averaging 7.7 ppg and 3.7 rpg.
- At home, BU is shooting 49.4 percent from the field compared to 40.4 percent on the road, while opponents are shooting 40.1 FG% and 45.5 FG%, respectively.
SCOUTING HOLY CROSS
- The Crusaders went 6-7 during the non-conference schedule with a 3-5 mark on the road ... They own key wins at Harvard (63-52), Albany (55-49) and Sacred Heart (72-67).
- BU and HC shared three common opponents with the Crusaders falling at Syracuse (90-46), New Hampshire (56-53) and Maine (55-53) ... The Terriers won at home against the Wildcats (73-69) and Black Bears (102-78) while falling to the Orange, 99-77.
- Last year despite being the No. 9 seed, HC captured the Patriot League tournament crown and automatic NCAA berth by collecting road wins at No. 8 Loyola, No. 1 Bucknell, No. 4 Army and finally No. 2 Lehigh.
- 6-foot-7 forward Malachi Alexander averages a team-high 14.3 ppg and 5.4 rpg with 6-foot-6 guard Robert Champion close behind at 13.7 ppg and 3.6 rpg, respectively ... 6-foot-6 forward Karl Charles is one of four Crusaders with at least 19 steals in 13 contests and is averaging 9.4 ppg, 4.0 apg and 3.7 rpg.
- The Crusaders lead the PL in scoring defense at 64.3 ppg but rank ninth in field goal percentage defense with opponents shooting 47.2 percent.
- HC ranks first in the PL in steals at 8.8 spg and turnover margin (+4.5) but dead last in rebounding margin at -8.9.
- Holy Cross however leads the all-time series, 53-16, in a rivalry that dates back to 1902-03.
- Since joining the Patriot League, however, BU is 4-2 against the Crusaders with a 2-1 mark at home.
- In the previous meeting at BU on Feb. 27, the Terriers led by seven at the half and finished ahead, 83-68, with Fanning earning Turnpike Trophy MVP honors behind 25 points and a career-high 16 rebounds ... BU shot 58.2 percent from the field in the game.
- In the first meeting last season, BU led at the half, 40-35, but the Crusaders scored 45 in the second half to pull out an 80-64 home win with Charles contributing 15 points, five assists, two blocks and a steal ... Named Turnpike Trophy MVP, Alexander tallied 17 points on a near-perfect 7-of-8 shooting.
- Following three years as a conference member, the Terriers have yet to meet HC in the Patriot League tournament ... The last time the two schools faced off in a conference tourney, the Rick Pitino-led BU squad claimed the 1983 ECAC North title against the Crusaders to reach the NCAAs for the first time since 1959.