Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Live Blog: Boston University vs. Harvard University

Boston University (3-2) and Harvard University (3-1) tip-off at 8:00 p.m. at Lavietes Pavilion. The game marks the end of a three-game road trip for the Terriers. BU hasn't lost to Harvard in the last seven games, but the Crimson lead the all-time series, 32-26.

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

Harvard University Crimson
04 G Jeremy Lin
10 G Drew Housman
23 G Max Kenyi
24 F Doug Miller
42 F Keith Wright

First half summary:

Both teams burst out of the gate, and while BU had an early advantage Harvard stayed close. The foul differential was strongly in Harvard's favor, especially early on. Matt Wolff and Scott Brittain both picked up two quick fouls and were pulled.

Along with the fast pace came some occasionally sloppy play from both teams. Tyler Morris had four assists in the first half, but his four turnovers helped Harvard stay in the game. Good transition defense from both teams -- particularly BU -- helped minimize the effect of many of the turnovers. Despite the good defense, however, both the Terriers and the Crimson could have and arguably should have taken better care of the basketball.

After early trouble rebounding the ball, particularly on the defensive end, the Terriers upped the intensity on the boards. With the increased effort came improved play. A pair of threes from John Holland and Valdas Sirutis keyed a short 8-2 run to stretch the lead to eight. The Crimson recovered and traded baskets with BU as the half came to a close.

At the half: Boston University 41, Harvard 34

Second half summary:

John Holland did his best cannonball impression early in the second half. After a productive first half, he was everywhere in the first few minutes of the second stanza, playing excellent pressure defense, scoring a layup in transition off a deflected inbounds pass, and creating opportunities for his teammates. His energy rubbed off on his teammates, as BU quickly extended its halftime lead to 10, then 13.

BU was hot from beyond the arc in the first half, but a sequence where BU shot the three in the second half put the Crimson away for good. After a media timeout at 11:44 in the second, O'Brien hit a three from the corner to put BU up 14. After O'Brien blocked a shot in transition, Holland fed Wolff down low. The next time O'Brien touched the ball on offense, he lofted another three from closer to the wing. When that fell BU was up 17, 62-45. A Holland layup and a three-ball from Corey Lowe bracketed an Evan Harris field goal, and at that point the Terriers were home free.

While the Terriers shot the lights out all game, Harvard shot itself in the foot with turnover problems. The Crimson had 20 turnovers, many of which occurred near midcourt and led to easy baskets for BU. While Harvard was often able to defend in transition depending on where the turnover occurred, the transition baskets and BU's perimeter shooting overwhelmed anything Harvard could muster offensively.

Jeremy Lin padded his totals with some late baskets, but it was too little, too late.

Final score: Boston University 75, Harvard 59

Leading scorers:
BU -- Corey Lowe, 20
Harvard -- Jeremy Lin, 17

Leading rebounders:
BU -- Jake O'Brien, 8
Harvard -- Evan Harris, 8

Leading assists:
BU -- Tyler Morris, 6
Harvard -- Drew Housman, 4


Salem said...

Nice new live blog feature. Good win, let's see if they can bring their A-game for The Herd on Saturday. And the fact the Nick got Whitty to actually wear a suit only adds to the excitement.

Matt, suggestion/question for some stats research you could do for us: what do BU's numbers look like in Agganis as opposed to The Roof over the past few seasons. The regular line is good, but some other stuff, like how long it takes Lowe/Strong/Morris(?) to find their shot in the open-end court of Agganis versus the closed-end Roof would be very cool. Just a thought.

Love the blog, fellas. Keep it up, Go BU.

Nick said...

Thanks for the comment...

If you're interested in at least some of the stats you requested, an article about BU's shooting percentages since Agganis opened ran in the FreeP two days ago and can be found here: I'm actually in the process of analyzing every game at Case since 2004 to see exactly how the shooting percentages differ, so once that research is done, I'll let you know. Might be hard for the shot breakdown unless we can get access to shot charts, but they're not made readily available after games. We'll do the best we can. But this Agganis debate has definitely sparked a bit of conversation over the past week or so... Saturday should be interesting.

Glad you enjoyed the live blog format, and are enjoying the blog as a whole. Feel free to let us know if you have any more requests or suggestions, we're always open to them.

Matt said...


Like Nick said, what I can do is really dependent on how much data we have. It's easy enough for me to analyze team offensive tendencies by venue (Roof vs. Agganis vs. elsewhere), and if I have enough data in a convenient format I can do player breakdowns. I'm not sure I can do precisely what you want, but when I get the spare time to look at play-by-play data in more depth (which might not be for a couple weeks) I can definitely do something.

Thanks for reading.