CHESTNUT HILL - The clock is ticking for BC and its hopes of making the NCAA tournament. After a strong start to the season, the Eagles have sputtered in ACC play, losing five of their last seven games.
In order for BC to stay afloat, a win against this talented Maryland team on Saturday afternoon is almost a must. It certainly won't be easy, though, as this is a completely different Terps team than the one BC defeated earlier this season.
Corey Raji and Biko Paris served as the catalysts in the Eagles win over the Terps in December. Paris had a career day, making 8-of-12 field goals and 6-of-10 threes en route to a career-high 22 points while Raji finished with 11 points, nine rebounds and two assists in 28 minutes against Maryland. Raji also scored the final six points of the game, helping to lead the Eagles to an upset victory.
Needless to say, the Eagles will need strong performances from Raji and Paris, as well as from Reggie Jackson and Joe Trapani, the team's number one and number two scorers, respectively. Jackson had 16 points on 5-of-8 shooting while Trapani totaled 10 points and six rebounds in the win against Maryland.
One major key to stopping Maryland is containing Jordan Williams, who leads the Terps in scoring (17.3 PPG) and rebounding (11.9 RPG). Williams is third in the country in rebounding and leads the nation in double-doubles with 20. In addition, Williams is only two double-doubles shy of Len Elmore's school record of 22 single-season double-doubles, set back in 1974. If the Eagles plan on winning, taking Williams out of the equation is a must.
The question is, how can they do that? Josh Southern is BC's biggest player at 6'10", 263 pounds, but is not known for his abilities under the basket, offensively or defensively. He has the best chance of stopping Williams, but it will be a very tough task.
PREDICTION: Maryland has consistently been one of the ACC's strongest basketball programs, and this year is no exception. While the Terps got off to somewhat of a slow start and suffered some tough losses to ranked opponents early in the season, they have done a great job of getting back on track. Look for Jordan Williams to have his way against a small BC lineup, and he will most likely pick up his 21st double-double of the season. Final: Maryland 78, Boston College 72.