Darryl Partin and Boston University (12-13, 8-3 America East) will look to continue to assert their dominance over Albany (15-10, 7-4 AE) Monday night at 7 p.m. EDT when they tip off at the SEFCU Arena. ( TV: None, Radio: 1510 AM WWZN)
Partin comes into the game just nine points shy of the 1,000 points mark in 60 career games as a Terrier. The senior guard transferred from LaSalle after his sophomore year and has averaged 16.51 points per game in Scarlet and White. For his career, Partin has already accrued 1,165 points and on his way to his most successful season; as he's 21st in the country averaging 19.6ppg.
He and the Terriers will look to win their seventh straight games against the Great Danes and all but ensure themselves a top-three spot in the America East Tournament. It's been an interesting decade of games between the two teams, as Boston University holds a 15-8 lead, thanks to six straight wins dating back to February of 2009. Before that, both teams owned long winning streaks, with the Terriers winning eight in a row, only to lose the next seven to Albany.
In the team's first game this season, Boston University used a 21-5 run to open the second half and knock the Great Danes into near submission. Even after a late Albany run, the Terriers came out on top 70-57 to earn their fourth straight victory. Sophomore point guard D.J. Irving led Boston University with 17 points, six assists and three steals, while Partin chipped in with 15 points, five rebounds and five assists. While the Terriers excelled offensively, there most impressive feat was in locking down junior college transfer Gerardo Suero. Suero was visibly bothered by the Terriers defense all night and managed a season-low six points to go with eight turnovers.
The Terriers got back on track Saturday night with a 68-53 victory over Binghamton University. Senior captain Matt Griffin and Partin led the charge with 13 points apiece, as the Terriers connected on 50 percent of their shots in the easy win. Head coach Joe Jones got his starters some extra rest in the contest-with the Great Danes looming, and every active player earned at least three minutes of action.
Albany wasn't so fortunate Saturday, when they faced fellow SUNY, Stony Brook. The Seawolves handed Albany their first home loss of the season (9-1) and pushed the Great Danes out of a tie with the Terriers for third place in the conference standings with a 75-69 victory. Suero finished with a team-high 21 points and guard Logan Aronhalt and Mike Black both recorded 15 points in the losing effort.
Boston University has won behind their defense in conference play, holding opponents to just 58.5 points per game in conference games (second best in AE). The Terriers have also been extremely effective along the perimeter and in handling the ball. Behind Partin and Irving, the Terriers are second in 3-point shooting (40.2 percent) in conference games and lead the conference in opponent's 3-point shooting percentage (31.5). Jones' squad also ranks second in turnover margin at +1.18 per game, behind Irving's 2.5 assist-to-turnover ratio.
The Great Danes have relied on their home-court advantage and league-leading offense to put teams away. Suero's 21.6 points per game (sixth in the nation) have helped the Great Danes average a league-best 75.9 points per game. Suero also leads the team in rebounding (5.5 per game) and has helped the Great Danes into one of the elite rebounding teams in the conference. Albany leads the conference with 13.7 offensive boards per game and second overall in rebounding margin (7.9 per game).
Prediction: As good as the Great Danes look on paper, there are a ton of questions about the teams mettle and their ability to come out on top in a true dogfight. Boston University is much more of a finesse team than Stony Brook but probably will look to get the ball inside to their bruisers (Dom Morris and Pat Hazel) early and often against a weak Albany frontcourt. This game could come down to who hits more 3-pointers and late-game free throw shooting, threes favor the Terriers but free throw shooting is another story.
Boston University 68, Albany 66