By Seth Oresnky, Contributor.
Event: Boston University Terriers (4-4) Vs. St. Joseph's Hawks (5-3).
Date/Time: Wednesday December 7, 2011 - 7:00 p.m. EDT.
Location: Hagan Arena (Capacity: 4,200), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Broadcast Info: A radio broadcast of the game will be available on 1510 AM in Boston with Doug Brown and Chris Maurer on the call.
Series History: St Joseph's (St. Joe's) has dominated the series between the two schools winning six of seven matchups. The lone Terriers' win came last season though as Darryl Partin led a huge comeback in the final minutes of the game in a 85-79 victory in Boston.
Last Time Out: Boston University and Darryl Partin continued their hot streak Saturday, beating Boston College for the first time since 1974. Along the way, the Terriers extended their winning streak to four games, as Partin poured in 27 points and sophomore Dom Morris recorded his first career double-double in the 75-61 win at Conte Forum.
The Hawks had a winning streak of their own broken Sunday when they traveled to D.C. to play American. After falling behind by 13 early, St. Joe's fought back to tie the game at 51, before American closed the game on a 15-9 run. Halil Kanacevic was one of four Hawks in double figures and recorded a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Storyline: Boston University will look to continue their strong play since the Thanksgiving break when they take on a team that has traditionally dominated them. Fresh off a win against rival Boston College, the Terriers will head to Philadelphia for the first of three trips this month. The heavily dominated Philadelphian roster will look to earn their first win against a Philly team since former coach Pat Chambers began heavily recruiting from the area.
Six Terriers hail from the Philadelphia region including three sophomores who have been keys to the team's recent success. Former Friends Central teammates Dom Morris and Travis Robinson will make their first homecoming of their sophomore campaign on a high after breakout performances last week in games against Delaware and Boston College. Point guard D.J. Irving was named the America East Player of the Week for leading the team to a pair of victories and recording a career-high 11 assists against the Blue Hens while suffering from tightness in his hamstrings.
This will be one of the most difficult games of the season for the Terriers thus far, as they take on a St. Joe's team that is undefeated at home and have never lost to Boston University in Philadelphia. Phil Martelli's squad receives great balance with four players averaging double figures, including Carl Jones who's averaging 19 points per game. The junior comes into the contest six points shy of 1,000 for his career.
A much bigger challenge for the Terriers could be dealing with sophomore forward C.J. Aiken inside. The 6-foor-9 Aiken, leads the nation with five blocks per game and has helped the Hawks to a third place ranking in the nation. If the Terriers can get Aiken in foul trouble like they did last year, they can take advantage of an extremely young and untested bench. The Hawks are one of the youngest teams in the country, with no seniors and seven underclassmen on a roster of 12 players.
Players to Watch: He may not be from the area, but Seattle native Darryl Partin has been a big key to the Terriers offensive success this season. The junior is third in the nation in scoring at 23.9 points and has scored 27 in consecutive games. With John Holland's graduation, Partin has stepped up as the number one scorer and it hasn't affected him. Wednesday night could be extremely challenging, against a long and athletic Hawks backcourt with Aiken behind them in the paint. If Partin can repeat last year's success, the Terriers could make it two in a row against Phil Martelli.
A player that hasn't been mentioned thus far who might be the most important key to the Hawks success is team MVP Langston Galloway. Galloway led the team in rebounding and was second in scoring last year as a sophomore on a bad Hawks team. With St. Joe's revitalized and off to a good start, Galloway has done a little of everything to ensure success. The guard will likely try to slow Partin down, handle the ball and help the Hawks dominate on the boards if he plays up to his potential.
Prediction: As well as the Terriers have played in the past five games, Boston University hasn't quite faced an opponent as strong as St. Joe's. They'll need a very solid effort in Philadelphia and it might not come with a huge matchup against Harvard looming on Saturday. Final Score: St. Joe's 73, Boston University 64.