Sunday, February 19, 2012

Terriers square off against Greyhounds in BracketBusters

By René Reyes/DFP Staff

It’s been 16 years since the Boston University men’s basketball team last faced Loyola University Maryland on the hardwood floor.

The year was 1996 with Terrier great Tunji Awojobi leading the way by netting a game-high 25 points and pulling down 12 rebounds in the 71-51 win. That same year BU went on to earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

After a stinging two-point loss to the University of New Hampshire on Wednesday, BU will to look to right the ship against Loyola Sunday in a Sears BracketBusters contest. The game will be played at the Greyhounds’ home court at Reitz Arena with tip-off slated for 12 p.m.

The Terriers post a perfect 4-0 record in the annual BracketBusters, including three wins against Metro Atlantic Athletic opponents. They defeated Saint Peter’s College in 2008, Iona College in 2009 and Canisius College in 2011.

This time around, BU will face its toughest test yet, as Loyola is 4-2 in the BracketBusters and closes out its non-conference slate this afternoon with a matinee matchup with the Terriers.

The Greyhounds have posted a 7-3 mark during the non-conference portion of their schedule and are one win away from breaking the program’s all-time record for most non-conference wins in a season. Earlier in the 2011-12 campaign, Loyola racked up victories over America East competition in the University of Maryland-Baltimore County and UNH.

On Sunday, Loyola will partake in Senior Day, honoring student manager Kevin Farrell and players J’hared Hall and Shane Walker in a post-game ceremony.

Loyola boasts an RPI rating of 89 and trails its conference leader, Iona, by only game in the standings. It is paced on offense by guard Dylon Cormier and forward Erik Etherly, who have registered 13.8 points per game and 13.3 ppg, respectively.

Etherly was just named the MAAC’s Player of the Week this past Monday after he stuffed the stat sheet in games against Fairfield University and Iona, averaging nearly a double-double with 19.5 ppg and 9.5 rebounds per game.

Before its Senior Night in less than a week, BU is not riding the trademark streak that has defined it the past two years in the final stretch leading up to the America East Tournament. It has lost two of its past five games, including a shocking 56-54 loss to the Wildcats on Wednesday.

Senior guard Darryl Partin has sparked the Terrier offense all season long, recording 19.9 ppg to lead the team, while sophomore forward Dom Morris has emerged as one of the team’s bright spots over the course of the past few weeks. The burly forward provided his second career double-double against UNH with a career-high 17 points and 12 rebounds. He is averaging 6.8 ppg to go along with 5.9 rpg, good for first on the Terriers.

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