Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Century of Tradition: Raising The Roof

With one more non-conference game at Case Gymnasium remaining (Saturday at noon against the University of Delaware), we figured this would be as good a time as any to look at the home of the Boston University Terriers since 1972 -- Case Gymnasium, aka The Roof. Nestled away behind Rich Hall in BU's West Campus area (and adjacent to Nickerson Field) BU has played the majority of its home games at Case, but this year marks the fewest number of games the Terriers will play there since the 1992-93 season.

The gymnasium -- which has no seating along the baselines, only five sections on either side of the court -- comfortably seats 1,800 and provides an intimate atmosphere that can be very intimidating to opponents when full. The problem, however, has been that The Roof isn't usually filled to capacity, so the feeling can be lackluster at times. Still, when rocking, Case is one of the loudest home courts in the conference.

Termed The Roof, because it was built above Walter Brown Arena -- the former home of the BU men's hockey team and current home of the women's hockey team (as well as the home of BU basketball in 1982-83 and from 1985-1993) -- Case Gymnasium has housed a steady stream of winning since the Terriers played their first game there on December 5, 1972 (an 87-74 victory over Northeastern).

In 284 games in 36 seasons at The Roof, the Terriers have won an astounding 200 games, with their 200th victory coming on December 10 against Yale (55-43). That's good for a winning percentage of .704. Even more impressive is the fact that over the last eight years (2000-08, plus two games this season) BU has a record at Case of 67-21 (.761).

It's no secret that the Terriers have become accustomed to the atmosphere and shooting background at The Roof, which has remained relatively the same since it was built, but perhaps the gym's finest moment came in 1997, when BU swept its home schedule for the only time in The Roof's history (10-0), including a 68-61 victory over Drexel in the America East Championship game. Roughly 2,200 fans filled the gym, for the largest crowd in Case history. That win came in the midst of a 15-game home winning streak -- the longest in the building's history -- which lasted from Feb. 23, 1996 to Nov. 20, 1997.

Recent Terriers have also had their fair share of luck at The Roof, beginning with 15th year coach Dennis Wolff, who holds a career mark of 114-42 (.731) on the court. Additionally, sophomore guard John Holland set the all-time high for individual scoring by a Terrier when he netted 38 points against Hartford last February in BU's 97-66 win.

Also, junior guard Carlos Strong holds the record for 3-pointers made when he converted eight (and was 10-of-13 from the field) against Binghamton in BU's 66-54 victory in February of 2007.

The most points ever scored by BU at The Roof is 124 (against New Hampshire on Feb. 17, 1979) while the most an opponent has scored is 102 (Harvard on Dec. 13, 1972 and Maine on Feb. 20, 1980). Also, the Terriers have the most all-time wins at Case against New Hampshire, with a 19-5 record.

BU has five more game remaining at The Roof this season and if they were to sweep them, would go undefeated at Case for only the second time (exclusing a 2-0 season in 1980-81) in Terrier history.

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