Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Boston U. (11-9, 6-2) at Black Bears (13-6, 5-1)

Wednesday, Jan, 27, 7:30 p.m.
Alfond Arena, Orono

Boston U. was the coaches pre-season pick for the America East title for good reason; Really, three good reasons: John Holland, Corey Lowe and Jake O'Brien.

Holland (19.6 points) is the league's leading scorer and would probably have a player of the year award in his trophy case if it weren't for Vermont's Marqus Blakely. Lowe (16.5) is a scoring guard who can blow up on any given evening. After flirting with transferring following the dismissal of longtime coach Dennis Wolff, the 6-8 Jake O'Brien is back for his sophomore campaign. He was rookie of the year last season. O'Brien averages 13.1 points.

All three can drop it from deep, but skilled enough to do other things closer to the rim. Former Villanova assistant Pat Chambers now leads the Terriers.

Point guard Tyler Morris injured a wrist earlier this season and has been out since Jan. 7. He was averaging 11.2 points a game. Southern Maine native Carlos Strong comes off the bench and is a 3-point threat.

This game is huge for Boston U. A Terriers win here could launch them into the second half of the league season. A season in which BU closes with four straight, yes, four straight, home games -- a huge advantage in the final two weeks.

For the Black Bears to win: Hound the 3-point line. BU will try to win the game there first. Force them to win it inside. Terriers lead America East with eight 3-pointers per game. ... Force them to run some offense. ... Hit the boards. After a so-so rebounding performance at Hartford, UMaine must get back to controlling the glass and limiting second-chance opportunities. Hartford had nine offensive rebounds to the Black Bears' two. Against BU, that won't work. ... Play steady, don't get rattled by runs. Boston U., by the nature of its talent, will make a run or two. Black Bears must limit the run-outs so that they don't become extended runs. ... Don't get over-excited. UMaine hasn't played in a game of this importance in a long, long time. None of the players on this team have ever been in a setting like this so it will be interesting to see what kind of composure the Black Bears have.

RPI note: UMaine is No. 120 as of Tuesday. Boston U. is 161. ... Look for the Black Bears to get a little RPI bump today after Boston College dumped No. 21 Clemson last night.

1 comment:

MattT said...

Maine wins, Maine wins at the buzzer! Mike Allison on the put back!