Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Live Blog: Boston University vs. Northeastern University

Boston University (2-1) and Northeastern University (3-1) tip off at 8:00 p.m. at Matthews Arena on NESN. The Terriers have lost their last four meetings against the Huskies by an average of 10.8 points. BU leads the all-time series in the Battle of Boston, 69-66. In the first game of the doubleheader, BU's women's team defeated Northeastern, 71-68.

Here are the starting lineups for this evening's game:

Boston University Terriers:
02 F Matt Wolff
13 G Corey Lowe
21 F Jake O'Brien
23 F John Holland
24 G Tyler Morris

Northeastern University Huskies:
03 G Chaisson Allen
23 G Matt Janning
24 F Eugene Spates
32 F Manny Adako
54 C Nkem Ojougboh

First Half
Both teams have started in a man-to-man defense, but Northeastern will probably play a zone against BU. Expect BU to keep their scheme that way for much of the game, with the possibility of switching to the Box and-1 after working on it in practice this week.

15:10 remaining: Tie, 7-7. Corey Lowe has five of BU's seven points and assisted the other. Lowe started the scoring with a 12-footer from the left side, and scored his other bucket on a difficult step-back 3-pointer with Chaisson Allen in his face. His assist was a nice low-post feed to Matt Wolff who up-faked and put it in. Nkem Ojougboh has three of Northeastern's seven and both teams are tied with four boards apiece.

Wolff has been particularly aggressive on the boards thus far, and the Terriers have come out with a good amount of energy.

13:40 remaining: BU leads 18-12. BU's only starter on the court is Lowe as Jeff Pelage, Marques Johnson, Scott Brittain and Carlos Strong have all entered the game.

Lowe converted an athletic four-point play directly in front of Northeastern's bench as he was fouled by Allen. He hasn't cooled down since as he's 5-of-6, drained another 3-pointer from the opposite corner and finished a drive with the left hand to total 13 points in just over eight minutes. Pelage had a beautiful move left-handed and high off-glass to put BU up 13-10 after Chris Alvarez converted a difficult put-back.

O'Brien picked up his second foul and is sitting with 11:14 remaining. Spates is also sitting with two fouls.

BU's effort on the defensive boards is a welcome sight. The Terriers have five defensive boards thus far, but are clearly showing a much more concentrated effort than they did against St. Peter's.

7:32 remaining: Game tied at 22. Lowe has upped his total 18 and there's still over 7:00 remaining in the half. A 3-pointer Matt Smith over an outstretched Lowe knotted the game at 22 just before this media timeout. Morris has struggled from the field, shooting 0-of-4, but has been solid defensively along with the rest of the Terriers. BU's man-to-man defense has had some holes, but overall, it seems to be stifling the Huskies as they're having a hard time creating shots.

BU has seven fouls and NU has five.

3:07 remaining: Northeastern leads 31-30. Matt Janning hit his first 3-pointer of the game following a nice shuffle move to shake Strong off of him to give NU the lead back in a close contest thus far. On BU's side, we know what you're thinking. How much has Lowe scored since the last update? And the answer is four, upping his total to 23. Strong added a 3-pointer to become BU's fourth scorer of the game. Despite Lowe's heroics, NU used an 8-0 run to draw the score close.

Halftime: 40-39 Northeastern. This one is a dandy. Janning, who's now recorded double digits in 24 consecutive contests, hit an extremely difficult baseline jumper as time expired to put the Huskies up one at the half. Prior to that, Brittain missed the second shot of a 1-and-1, but Holland skied above the pack for an offensive rebound. After Lowe started to drive and drew two defenders, he kicked to Holland in the corner, who promptly drained the trey. Holland hit another 3 before that to pull BU within two points after Janning started heating up and scored five-straight points (on a 22-footer and a fastbreak layup) to put the Huskies up 37-32.

Aside from Lowe, who's been out-of-this-world good (9-of-13 and 4-of-7 from beyond the arc), and Janning's (6-of-8, 2-of-4) individual performances, the story of the game has been rebounding and turnovers. Though the turnover numbers are relatively low for both clubs, BU has coughed the ball up eight times (some at very inopportune moments) while Northeastern has done so only four times and the Terriers have just one steal.

On the glass, the teams are even at 14 (there haven't been too many missed shots as BU is hitting at 51.9 percent and NU and 56.0 percent), but BU's effort on the boards is clearly showing. The Terriers' man-to-man defense let up a bit toward the end of the half, as Janning got hot, but 40 points isn't terrible against a team as talented as the Huskies.

O'Brien played seven minutes after picking up his second foul in the first half, so it will be interesting to see what impact he has when he returns along with NU's Spates (who also sat with two fouls).

Unless Lowe keeps up his ridiculous pace, the Terriers may need to find some other scoring outlets. Holland came on toward the end of the first session, but Morris is 0-for-4 and BU's forwards haven't done much in the way of scoring. What was a good sign for BU, however, was that when Northeastern began to lock him down and double him (even on the perimeter), he found a way to facilitate the offense like he did against St. Peter's.

Second Half
15:30 remaining: BU leads 49-45. The game continues to be played at an accelerated pace. The Terriers opened the half on an 8-3 run, highlighted by a difficult straight-away 3-pointer by Holland and another 3 by O'Brien. NU has answered, however, as Spates hit a 3 for his first points of the game and Adako converted a powerful two-handed dunk on a nice assist from Allen.

13:37 remaining: BU leads 57-49. In the first half, it was Lowe providing the offense for BU, now it's O'Brien and Holland. O'Brien's most recent 3-pointer gave BU its largest lead of the evening, at eight. He's got eight this half and Holland has 15 in the game, the most impressive of which was a strong take to the hole and a tough lay in off-glass.

11:03 remaining: BU leads 62-53. Matt Wolff just hit the biggest bucket of his season thus far. With the shot clock ticking down and Lowe with the ball, he started to drive, but was triple-teamed in the process of taking his shot. Lowe decided not to release and before his feet touched the ground, kicked to a wide-open Wolff in front of the BU bench, who knocked it down to put BU back up by nine after a 4-0 Northeastern mini-run.

The Terriers are 8-of-12 to start the second half while the Huskies are 5-of-12.

Northeastern has five turnovers this half after giving the ball away just four times in the first.

9:29 remaining: The Terriers lead 62-53. NU's Matt Smith missed a wide-open breakaway layup with Holland and Lowe trailing on defense, but not giving too much pressure. Northeastern is taking a fair amount of quick shots in their possessions, but haven't been too successful in converting. Lowe's only two points of this half have come from the free-throw line.

7:54 remaining: BU leads 62-57. Play since the last update has been sloppy. The Terriers have turned the ball over three times while Northeastern has turned it over twice. That sloppiness has led to a 4-0 personal run by Janning to pull Northeastern within five. Janning has scored NU's last six points and has 20 in the game.

6:27 remaining: The Terriers lead 64-57. O'Brien found Wolff on a good look down low. Wolff up-faked, got his man in the air and laid it in for his seventh point of the game (a season-high).

4:13 remaining: BU leads 72-61. O'Brien hit yet another trey (his fourth of the game) to put BU up 72-58 before NU's Allen answered with a 3-pointer of his own. Prior to that, Morris scored his first points of the game on a 3-pointer assisted by Strong to put BU up by 10. He then followed with an excellent take to the rim and banked it in high off-glass with the shot clock at three. It's encouraging to see Morris getting back into his game. If he's able to do that on a consistent basis, BU will be very hard to beat.

2:04 remaining: The Terriers lead 79-68. Each team is scoring at will, but BU's got the edge. O'Brien hit another 3, this time wide open in front of BU's bench as well as a pretty reverse layup on a feed from Wolff. While BU's defense isn't anywhere close to where coach Wolff would like it to be, seeing the Terriers' offense score like this and from so many different sources is quite impressive.

0:35.7 remaining: The Terriers lead 81-73. O'Brien hit both shots of a 1-and-1 to put BU up by eight points with 35.7 left to extend it to a three-possession game. O'Brien fouled out scrambling for a rebound on the next possession.

Holland made both free throws with 20 second remaining to put BU up 83-75 and that's the way the score stayed.

Final: Boston University 83, Northeastern University 75

Leading scorers:
BU -- Corey Lowe, 27
NU -- Matt Janning, 22

Leading rebounders:
BU -- Two tied with 6
NU -- Chaisson Allen, 7

Leading assists:
BU -- Corey Lowe, 6
NU -- Matt Janning, 7

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great work with the live blog.