Boston University (8-6) at Lehigh (8-6)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, January 5, 1 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Stabler Arena (6,000) -- Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Television: CBSSN. Home Record: Boston 3-2, Lehigh 5-0. Away Record: Boston 3-3, Lehigh 2-6. Neutral Record: Boston 2-1, Lehigh 1-0. Conference Record: Boston 1-0, Lehigh 1-0. Series Record: Lehigh leads. 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The Boston University Terriers continue their inaugural run through the Patriot League on Sunday afternoon, as they take on the streaking Lehigh Mountain Hawks at Stabler Arena.
The Terriers got their first season in the Patriot League off to a fast start with a 70-60 win over Holy Cross on Thursday. Boston has won two of its last three games to move to 8-6 on the season.
The Mountain Hawks are on a bit of a roll, having won six of their last seven games to move two games over .500 at 8-6. The team opened up league play on Thursday with a thrilling 88-81 victory in double-overtime against Colgate. Lehigh is a perfect 5-0 at home this season.
Lehigh won the first and only previous meeting between these two teams in 1968.
BU opened up its league slate with a win for the first time since 2005, topping Holy Cross by 10 points on Thursday, snapping a six-game losing streak to the Crusaders. Boston used a strong defensive effort to distance itself in the win, outrebounding HC 40-31, holding the Crusaders to a mere .386 shooting and forcing 19 turnovers. Maurice Watson Jr. led the way offensively, with 12 points and six assists. John Papale and Dom Morris added 11 points apiece for the Terriers.
Boston doesn't put up gaudy offensive numbers, averaging a modest 71.9 ppg on .440 shooting. The team does hold a slim +0.7 scoring margin and a +1.2 turnover margin, but is being outrebounded on a regular basis, saddled with a -2.7 rebounding margin. Watson has shot the ball extremely well this season at a 57 percent clip and serves as the team's top scorer (14.8 ppg) and top distributor (6.5 apg). Morris is next in the scoring column (12.3 ppg) and tops the team in rebounding (6.9 rpg). D.J. Irving (11.9 ppg) rounds out BU's top scoring options.
Senior Mackey McKnight drained a crucial 3-pointers with just 27 seconds left in regulation that forced overtime and Lehigh was able to pull away in the second overtime to earn the seven-point win over Colgate. Freshman center Tim Kempton was once again strong in the paint, recording his fourth double-double of the season with a career-high 25 points and 13 rebounds. McKnight and Jesse Chuku poured in 18 points apiece, while Corey Schaefer finished with 16.
Lehigh's offensive eruption against Colgate has not been the norm this season, as the Mountain Hawks come into this contest with modest numbers of 70.1 ppg on .447 shooting. Despite the mediocre numbers overall, Lehigh does have several scoring options, with four Mountain Hawks currently averaging double figures. The 6-foot-10 Kempton has made an immediate impact inside for Lehigh and leads the team in both scoring (14.4 ppg) and rebounding (7.1 rpg). McKnight is a close second in scoring (14.1 ppg) and serves as the team's top facilitator (5.9 apg). Chuku (10.1 ppg, 6.9 rpg) and Austin Price (10.1 ppg) completes the double-digit scoring threats on the roster, although Schaefer (9.8 ppg) is eager to join the group.
Lehigh is awfully tough to beat at home and Boston may find itself at a disadvantage at Stabler Arena.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Lehigh 71, Boston 67
01/05 10:32:56 ET