Stony Brook (15-16) at Boston University (20-13)
Saturday, March 12th, 12:02 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Frank Haynes, Senior College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Agganis Arena (7,200) -- Boston, Massachusetts. Television: ESPN2. Home Record: Stony Brook 7-7, Boston U. 11-2. Away Record: Stony Brook 6-9, Boston U. 5-10. Neutral Record: Stony Brook 2-0, Boston U. 4-1. Conference Record: Stony Brook 8-8, Boston U. 12-4. Series Record: Boston University leads, 16-6.
GAME NOTES: The Boston University Terriers go in search of their sixth America East Conference Tournament title when they play host to the Stony Brook Seawolves today at Agganis Arena.
Stony Brook is the fifth seed in this event, earning that distinction after logging an 8-8 record in American East play this season. The Seawolves are still a game under .500 on the year (15-16), but they have won their last four outings, including a pair in this tournament. First, it was a 67-61 triumph over Albany in the quarterfinals, and then a 69-47 trouncing of top-seeded Vermont in the semis last Sunday. Stony Brook has never won the AEC Tournament and this is the team's first trip to the final game.
Boston University is 20-13 for the season, and its 12-4 mark in conference earned it the No. 2 seed in this event. The Terriers, who have won 11 of their 13 homes this year, are riding a 10-game win streak, and they took out both New Hampshire (69-60) and Hartford (55-49) to earn their way into the AEC Tournament championship game for the second straight year. BU lost to Vermont in the 2010 title tilt (83-70), but the team has more America East Tournament titles than any other current league member with five. The Terriers last won the crown in 2002, and this is their 15th championship game appearance.
Boston University owns a 16-6 lead in the all-time series with Stony Brook, reaching that point by logging victories in each of the last three meetings.
Stony Brook has just one double-digit scorer on the roster (Bryan Dougher -- 12.8 ppg), and as a result is one of the lowest scoring teams in the country with a mere 61.2 ppg. The Seawolves instead rely on stingy defensive play to earn their keep, permitting just 60.6 ppg on typical shooting outputs of 39.2 percent from the field, which includes a 31.4 percent yield from three-point range. Leonard Hayes was the star of the game in SBU's recent AEC Tournament win over Vermont, as he nailed six treys en route to a game-high 20 points, while Chris Martin chipped in with 14 points. The team as a whole shot 48.2 percent from the field and dropped 8-of-15 three-point tries. Meanwhile, the Catamounts hit just 31.8 percent of their total shots and committed 16 turnovers.
Boston University is the hottest team in the AEC, and leading scorer and conference Player of the Year John Holland is the primary reason why. Holland averages 19.0 points and 5.7 rebounds per contest, despite shooting just 38.5 percent from the field. Darryl Partin (14.6 ppg) is the only other active double-digit scorer for the Terriers, who average nearly the same amount of points as they allow for the season (65.5 ppg, 63.5 ppg). The team as a whole has had its difficulty finding the bottom of the net at times, doing so just 40.6 percent of the time, but by allowing foes to connect on only 39.8 percent of their field goal attempts the team has been able to win several more games than it has lost. Despite missing seven of his 10 field goal attempts in the game, Holland scored 16 points to pace BU in its semifinal-round win over Hartford last Sunday. Patrick Hazel added 10 points for the Terriers, who made good on 42.4 percent of their total shots, while allowing just 35.2 percent field goal efficiency to the Hawks.
Stony Brook has played well of late, but the Seawolves are no match for the Terriers, who on their home court will prevail today and earn yet another trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Boston University 64, Stony Brook 57
03/12 11:33:09 ET