Last night win by the University of Vermont has officially locked the Terriers out of first place and made a second-place finish significantly harder for BU to obtain. All but locked into third place, BU can focus on reversing its two-game slide.
While the Stony Brook Seawolves aren't capable of catching the Terriers in the standings, they are more than capable of beating BU. Anyone doubting the accuracy of that statement should refer to the teams' first meeting this year, a four-overtime duel which Stony Brook nearly won.
Corey Lowe and John Holland totaled just 17 points in Saturday's 60-59 loss to Binghamton. Last time out against Stony Brook, the Terrier stars combined for 62. Tonight's figure should lie somewhere between those two values -- not exactly going out on a limb here -- but perhaps more important is how those points are attained. BU can survive another six-point outing from Lowe, but not if those six points require 15 shot attempts plus missed free throws. Given the Terriers' dependence on Lowe for scoring output, 15 or more shot attempts is likely if not guaranteed, so if the shot distribution is anywhere near typical, the Terriers will be looking for double digits from their star guard.
The Seawolves have built a solid defense based on advantages in rebounding and turnover rates. Stony Brook ranks just outside the top ten percent nationally in defensive turnover rate (23.5%) and is also in the top 20 percent nationally in defensive rebounding percentage (69.8%). The Seawolves' primary defensive weakness is contesting shots from inside the arc: opponents have made nearly 51 percent of their two-point attempts this season. Scott Brittain has been productive as of late and should be able to contribute tonight.
M. hoops travels to Stony Brook tonight
Projected starting lineups: