|Men's College Basketball|
Long Island (1-3) vs. Boston University (3-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, November 24, 4:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Bren Events Center (5,000) -- Irvine, California. Television: None. Home Record: Long Island 1-0, Boston University 1-0. Away Record: Long Island 0-2, Boston University 0-1. Neutral Record: Long Island 0-1, Boston University 1-1. Conference Record: Long Island 0-0, Boston University 0-0. Series Record: Long Island leads, 4-1.
GAMES NOTES: The Boston University Terriers and the Long Island Blackbirds will wrap up their three-day stay at the Bren Events Center when they match up to finish off their time in 2K Sports Classic.
Since earning an 87-80 win in the season opener against Saint Peter's, the Blackbirds have not been able to get back in the win column. Long Island has lost three straight games after suffering a 102-70 rout at the hands of Eastern Washington on Saturday. The loss was the second straight to come by 20 points or more for the Blackbirds.
The Terriers were able to put an end to a two-game slide on Saturday as they handed the host UC Irvine Anteaters a 74-68 defeat. Getting back in the win column was a good sign for the Terriers, who opened the year at 2-0, but then lost to Connecticut (77-60) and Eastern Washington (80-68) in consecutive games.
Long Island has taken wins in four of five all-time meetings with Boston University, including an 80-77 victory in the last meeting, which came during the 1992-93 season.
The Blackbirds struggled mightily on defense, especially on perimeter, in the loss to Eastern Washington. Long Island gave up 11 3-pointers in the contest and allowed the Eagles to shoot at a 63.9 percent rate overall. Meanwhile the Blackbirds completed just 35 percent of their field goal tries.
The defensive end of the floor has been the undoing for Long Island. The Blackbirds are allowing nearly 85 points per game and letting teams sink shots at an alarming rate (.515). Guiding the Blackbirds on offense are a trio of double-figure scorers. Gerrell Martin (12.8 ppg) and Gilbert Parga (12.8 ppg) are tied for the team lead in points. Martin scored 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting in the loss to Eastern Washington. Parga did not enjoy the same level of efficiency as he scored 13 points but got 11 from the free-throw line and hit just 1-of-7 shots from the floor. Landon Atterberry (10.0 ppg) is another scoring option.
D.J. Irving finally found his way offensively in the win on Saturday. The Terriers' senior guard scored 18 points and knocked down 3-of-4 shots from beyond the arc. The Terriers shot an even 50 percent from the field and outscored the Anteaters, 30-12, from beyond the arc.
Getting Irving back on track would be a huge advantage for the Terriers. Irving is averaging only 9.8 points per game this season but not due to a lack of chances. Irving is playing the most minutes (33.5 pg) on the team but is netting only 29.7 percent of his shots from the field. With Irving slowed, the Terriers have relied more on the efforts of Maurice Watson Jr. (16.3 ppg) and Dom Morris (14.3 ppg, 7.3 rpg). Morris, who also leads the team in rebounds, had 17 points and eight rebounds against UC Irvine. Watson did not find as much success with just four points and five turnovers. Malik Thomas (3.8 ppg) had his best game with 12 points off the bench on Saturday.
If Irving's efforts on Saturday are the beginning of a resurgence, the Terriers will have plenty of firepower to overwhelm the defensively deficient Blackbirds.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Boston University 79, Long Island 71
11/24 10:32:54 ET