Sunday, January 11, 2009

GAMEDAY: University of New Hampshire vs. Boston University

Now we really get a chance to see what the Terriers will look like following the news of season-ending injuries to two of their top five scorers in Tyler Morris and Carlos Strong. In BU's previous game against the University at Albany (a 62-61 loss) leading scorer Corey Lowe (17.6 points per game) was benched by coach Dennis Wolff as a disciplinary measure for receiving two technical fouls against the College of the Holy Cross last Friday.

Lowe will not be benched against the University of New Hampshire on Sunday and so the complete picture of the way the Terriers will shape up for the remainder of the season will be presented in both teams' second conference game.

The Wildcats won their conference opener against Hartford (which was without it's leading scorer and rebounder in Joe Zeglinski, who is also lost for the season) in convincing fashion. They'll once again run into a depleted team, but on the road this time, where they've only won one game in six chances this season. While UNH is on a two-game winning streak (after losing four in a row before that) their road woes have been severe in Boston. The Wildcats haven't beaten BU at Case Gymnasium in 13 seasons with their last win coming on February 10th, 1994 (64-56) in a season in which BU went 11-16 (4-10).

While the Terriers have lost five in a row, they'll be facing against a team that hasn't found a way to win outside of Durham, N.H. and relies heavily on its outside shooting. BU will matchup against a team that looked very similar to the Terriers prior to the injuries as Tyrece Gibbs, Tyrone Conley and Alvin Abreu can all shoot from the perimeter. UNH has lived and died with its shooting as their only real inside scoring threat is Dane DiLiegro, who recently recorded a career-high 17 rebound game, upping his rebounds per game number to 7.2. He hasn't been overly effective scoring (5.1 points per game) but is a post presence the Terriers will need to worry about nonetheless. Interestingly enough, BU will most likely be able to take advantage of many of their opponents on the interior given the loss of two of their top guards and resulting change in gameplan mentality. As discussed in The Day After post following the loss to Albany, the play of Marques Johnson as well as the additional scoring burden placed on Lowe and John Holland will be a continuing theme.

Defensive rebounding has been a pressing issue with BU this season, and once again, the numbers don't favor the home team as UNH's defensive rebounding percentage is an impressive 29.2. BU will need to keep the battle on the boards more respectable than they did against Albany if they hope for a victory.

Projected starting lineups:

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