Howard (3-11) vs. Boston University (5-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 29, 5 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: UCF Arena (9,465) -- Orlando, Florida. Television: None. Home Record: Howard 3-1, Boston University 3-1. Away Record: Howard 0-10, Boston University 2-5. Neutral Record: Howard 0-0, Boston University 0-1. Conference Record: Howard 0-0, Boston University 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAMES NOTES: In the consolation game of the UCF Holiday Tournament the Howard Bison will hook up with the Boston University Terriers in a Saturday afternoon clash at UCF Arena.
The Bison added yet another loss to their tally in Friday's opening game of the two-day event. Howard was dropped 62-45 by host UCF and lost for the third straight game. Howard has gotten used to long losing streaks this year with just a 3-11 record overall. That has included an abysmal 0-10 mark on the road. Howard will begin its conference slate next when it faces Coppin State next Saturday.
Boston also had a rather poor offensive showing in its first game of the tournament. The Terriers were bested by a 64-48 margin by Belmont. The setback was just the second in the last seven games for the Terriers who are now 5-7 overall through the first 12 games. The loss to Belmont came in the Terriers' first game on a neutral court this year. Next up for Boston is its America East Conference opener against Maine.
Prior to Saturday, these teams had never been matched up on the hardwood.
The Bison struggled all night to find their shot against UCF. Howard shot at just a 38.3 percent clip in the contest and netted only 4-of-14 shots from beyond the arc. Howard also turned the ball over a game-high 16 times and led by as many as 19 points. No player scored in double figures.
As might be expected, Howard has not excelled on the offensive side of the ball. The Bison are scoring only 54.1 points and assisting on 9.2 field goals per game. Both of those marks are among the 10 worst in the country. The Bison are also the 12th-worst rebounding team in the MEAC, while being outscored by nearly 10 points per game on average. Mike Phillips (12.8 ppg, 6.9 rpg) has been one of very few consistency offensive performers for the Bison. Calvin Thompson (12.1 ppg, 4.6 rpg) is the only other player scoring in double figures, while Simuel Frazier (8.6 ppg, 4.0 apg) runs the offense but has been erratic offensively.
Just like Howard, Boston didn't have much success on the offensive end on Friday night. The Terriers hit on just 34.6 percent of their field goal attempts in the contest including a 4-of-20 showing from beyond the arc. The Terriers were also outrebounded by a 40-30 margin, while only Maurice Watson (11 points) managed to get into double figures.
The Terriers have been just barely outscoring their opponents this year. As a team they score 65.8 points per game and connect on 42.5 percent of their shots from the floor. On the defensive end the Terriers let up 64.2 points per game. Like Howard the Terriers don't really control the boards by bringing in only 32.2 rebounds per game. The Terriers have moved the ball more effectively though, ranking second in the CAA in assists (12.8 pg). D.J. Irving (14.8 ppg, 3.4 apg) is the most reliable scorer although he could stand to improve on his shot selection (36.3 percent). Dom Morris (10.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg) and Watson (10.1 ppg, 4.8 apg) are other double-figure scorers.
Both of these teams clearly looked uncomfortable in UCF Arena on Friday night. The Terriers have the more likely chance of breaking out of the slump thanks to their superior track record on the offensive end.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Boston University 67, Howard 69
12/29 10:38:55 ET