Boston University (11-13, 7-3 America East) will try to end their two-game losing streak and keep Binghamton (0-22, 0-10 AE) winless Saturday night at 7 p.m. EDT when the teams meet at the Events Center in Vestal, New York. (TV: None/Radio: 1510 AM WWZN)
After losing their past two games to the teams atop the America East standings, Boston University will look to rebound against the nation's biggest loser. The Bearcats are the sole winless team in the nation, after Towson's win last Saturday, and have dropped 23 consecutive games dating back to last season. The Terriers have won five in a row against the Bearcats, including three straight in Vestal and have won 17 of 22 all-time matchups.
In the first game between the two teams, the Terriers ended their seven-game losing streak by grabbing a 68-49 victory at Case Gym. Boston University used a 14-5 run midway through the first half to open up a five-point game, and the Bearcats never got closer than nine the rest of the way. Senior guard Darryl Partin led the Terriers with 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting and redshirt freshmen Malik Thomas (14 points) scored more than half of the Boston University bench points (26-0). Sophomore guard Robert Mansell recorded a game-high 21 points for the Bearcats, who average a league-worst 55.6 points per game.
The Terriers followed up a tough loss at Stony Brook last Friday, with their worst half of the conference season Wednesday. According to head coach Joe Jones, the Terriers weren't prepared for their rivals after the Stony Brook game, and it showed-as Vermont jumped out to a 35-19 halftime lead. Boston University played another sloppy, emotionless 15 minutes, before making a furious rally that just fell short, in their 68-67 loss. Partin and sophomore point guard D.J. Irving combined for 34 points but hit just 13-of-35 shots and and turned the ball over six times.
Mark Macon's squad faced a worse fate Wednesday, as they fell behind by 35 points at halftime on the road to Stony Brook, en route to an 82-48 loss. The Seawolves hit a program-record 14 3-pointers against the Bearcats defense and held Mansell to just 10 points.
Mansell has been one of the two bright spots, on an otherwise bleak program. The Philadelphia native is sixth in the conference in scoring (14.7ppg) and 10th in free throw shooting (77.2 percent). Freshmen Ben Dickinson has been the other most promising player, he's averaged 12.6ppg and leads the team with 5.9 rebounds per game. Overall the Bearcats rank seventh or lower out of nine teams in every statistical category except for steals and free throw shooting.
Prediction: I expect Binghamton to win a game, but to beat the Terriers would be a huge shocker. Boston University has struggled in consecutive losses against stronger, more-disciplined squads, the Bearcats are neither. Boston University should be able to get back their confidence, while resting their starters for large chunks, against Binghamton in advance of their huge contest at Albany on Monday.
Boston University 76, Binghamton 53