Boston University (2-1) vs. Eastern Washington (2-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, November 22, 7:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Bren Events Center (BU,98BU) -- Irvine, California. Television: None. Home Record: BU 1-0, EWU 2-0. Away Record: BU 0-1, EWU 0-1. Neutral Record: BU 1-0, EWU 0-0. Conference Record: BU 0-0, EWU 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAMES NOTES: In the opener of the 2K Sports Classic sub-regional at the Bren Events Center, the Boston University Terriers will take on the Eastern Washington Eagles on Friday.
After sprinting out to a 2-0 start the Terriers were subdued in their last outing as they visited No. 18 Connecticut and came away on the short end of a 77-60 decision. BU had claimed victories over Northeastern (72-69) and UMass- Lowell (91-65) in their two previous contests. The Terriers get their shot at the event hosts on Saturday when they take on UC Irvine.
Eastern Washington is coming off a resounding win over an inferior opponent. The Eagles hosted their second non-Division I team on Tuesday in their rout of Walla Walla (82-44). EWU also took out Pacific (Oregon) to earn its other win of the season with its one foray against a Division I squad ending in a 92-80 loss at Washington. The Eagles will be up against LIU Brooklyn on Saturday.
On Friday these teams will be matching up for the first time ever.
The Terriers really struggled from the perimeter against the skilled UConn backcourt last Sunday as they hit just 8-of-32 shots from beyond the arc. The shooting woes were felt all over the floor for BU, which hit just 34.4 percent from the field overall.
Right now BU has the benefit of a positive scoring differential (+4.0) despite shooting below 44 percent from the field. Maintaining that edge will be difficult if the Terriers don't begin to tighten up on defense, as they allowing teams to knock down 46.7 percent of their attempts from the field. Dom Morris (17.3 ppg, 7.7 rpg) is the leader in more ways than one, as he is topping the team in points and rebounds. Morris nearly had a double-double against UConn as he scored 13 points and collected nine rebounds, but he also connected on just 4-of-11 attempts from the field. Maurice Watson Jr. (15.7 ppg, 6.0 apg) and D.J. Irving (10.0 ppg, 4.0 apg) run the show in the backcourt, though Watson has been much more efficient this year, netting 57.9 percent from the floor, while Irving is shooting at just a 28.6 percent clip.
Against a Walla Walla squad that had yet to earn a victory at the NAIA level, EWU absolutely dominated. The Eagles made good on 47.8 percent of their shots from the field, including a 10-of-26 showing from beyond the arc, and also earned a 46-30 edge on the boards.
Eastern Washington has been filling up the basket this year, averaging 83 points per game. The Eagles haven't just scored a lot they have scored well, netting 49.7 percent of their shots from the floor while averaging 18.3 assists per game. However, it remains to be seen if the offensive success can continue consistently against a Division I slate. Tyler Harvey (18.7 ppg) has had a strong start to the year as the team's leading scorer. Harvey had 15 points against Walla Walla and is one of five players on the roster averaging in double figures. Venky Jois (15.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg) and Martin Seiferth (13.7 ppg, 8.3 rpg) present problems for opposing frontcourts. Seiferth was especially forceful against Walla Walla as he had 24 points and 18 rebounds. Drew Brandon (10.0 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 7.3 apg, 3.3 spg) has been a versatile performer in the backcourt.
Time and time again strong guard play wins out over interior dominance at the college level. Expect another example on Friday with Irving getting back on track to lead the Terriers over Jois and the Eagles.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Boston University 76, Eastern Washington 70
11/22 10:35:33 ET