Boston University (2-2) at UC Irvine (3-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 23, 8:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Bren Events Center (5,000) -- Irvine, California. Television: None. Home Record: Boston University 1-0, UC Irvine 2-1. Away Record: Boston University 0-1, UC Irvine 1-1. Neutral Record: Boston University 1-1, UC Irvine 0-0. Conference Record: Boston University 0-0, UC Irvine 0-0. Series Record: Series is tied, 1-1.
GAMES NOTES: In the second day of the Irvine subregional of the 2K Sports Classic at the Bren Events Center, the Boston University Terriers will battle with the host UC Irvine Anteaters.
In Friday night's opening round the Terriers were dismissed by Eastern Washington, as they fell short in an 80-68 setback. The Terriers have struggled in their last two games with losses in each contest. The short losing streak ended a promising 2-0 start to the campaign for the Terriers, who will face off with Long Island on Sunday in the final day of the event.
The Anteaters are riding into Saturday's contest on a three-game winning streak. On Friday night the Anteaters extended the streak with an 84-64 rout of Long Island. Four players scored in double figures for the Anteaters in Friday's victory which pushed them over .500 (3-2) for the first time this year. UC Irvine will finish up the weekend on Sunday against Eastern Washington.
The all-time series between these teams has been a short one with each team earning a victory against the other.
Despite 18 points from Maurice Watson Jr. and a double-double from Nathan Dieudonne (16 points, 12 rebounds) the Terriers didn't have enough success on the offensive end to top the Eagles on Friday. The Terriers shot below 40 percent from the field and also had a 43-31 deficit on the boards.
Watson (16.3 ppg) is scoring at a high level, netting 54.5 percent from the floor, despite taking the majority of his shots from outside of the paint. Watson has also been a willing passer and a feisty defender with 24 assists and 10 steals as well, both team-highs. Dom Morris (14.3 ppg, 7.3 rpg) is leading the team in rebounds and is normally an effective scorer but he had only five points on 2-of-7 shooting on Friday. D.J. Irving (9.8 ppg) has been suffering in a shooting slump through the early going with only 29.7 percent of his shots finding the bottom of the net. As a team the Terriers are scoring 72.8 points per game, which is exactly how many they are giving up on the other end.
The Anteaters dominated in the first half and then coasted over the final 20 minutes to take down Long Island. They netted 58.6 percent from the floor and held the Blackbirds to only nine field goals in the first period. The team ended up with a 44-29 edge on the boards and 10 more second-chance points (24-14).
In the first five games the Anteaters have ben keeping the pressure on, as they have scored 91.2 points per game and connected on better than 55 percent of their shots from the field. Usually the type of offensive success has been needed for the Anteaters, who are giving up nearly 80 points per game on defense. Having multiple double figure scorers, as they did on Friday, has been an advantage the Anteaters have enjoyed. Will Davis II (13.8 ppg, 7.6 ppg) is one of the better scorers for the team and has also been the most reliable contributor on the glass. Chris McNealy (13.0 ppg) scored 15 points to lead the Anteaters against the Blackbirds as he broke out of a two-game slump. Alex Young (10.2 ppg) and Luke Nelson (10.4 ppg) are each double-figure scorers as well, though Young had only two points on Friday.
With the balanced and potent offensive attack the Anteaters have, the Terriers will be hard pressed to put up enough of a fight to pull off a road victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: UC Irvine 82, Boston University 70
11/23 10:35:58 ET