Jan. 21, 2009
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BOSTON - Looking to extend its winning streak to three games following Monday's marathon 99-97 win over Stony Brook, the Boston University men's basketball team concludes its two-game homestand at The Roof with defending America East conference champion UMBC on Thursday night at 7 p.m. The Terriers (8-9, 3-2 AE) are currently half a game behind the league leader Binghamton, while the Retrievers (8-9, 2-3 AE) remain in the hunt as well for their second-consecutive regular season title.
The Terriers lead the all-time series, 9-5, with head coach Dennis Wolff holding a 7-5 record. The two teams first faced off in the 1989-90 and 1990-91 seasons and renewed the series in 1995 for a home and away deal before UMBC joined the America East prior to the 2003-04 season.
Last year, the Retrievers swept the two-game series to extend its winning streak to three by first beating a BU squad without the services of leading scorer Corey Lowe, 62-40, in Case Gym last January. The next game in Baltimore a month later was a close one from start to finish, as they traded leads for much of the contest, recording seven ties and 19 lead changes. However, UMBC went 5-for-6 from the line in the final 30 seconds and forced two crucial turnovers to claim the win, 76-73.
Thursday night's game will feature three of the top four scorers in the conference. Ranked second in the league and 40th in the NCAA, Darryl Proctor averages 19.2 ppg along with 9.2 boards a game, which is first in the AE and 34th-best in the nation. Jay Greene is the other Retriever scoring in double-figures at 11.8 ppg, while averaging 6.8 rpg.
UMBC holds a 5-3 record at home but is only 2-6 on the road with both wins coming at Nebraska and Columbia. Other victories came against Toledo, Central Connecticut State, Maine and Hartford with losses at Pittsburgh, Vermont, New Hampshire and St. Louis.
Since entering league play, three-time America East player of the week John Holland
has been on an absolute tear, averaging 25.3 ppg, 6.0 rpg and 2.7 steals in the last five games. After playing all 60 minutes on Monday, the 2008 AE Rookie of the Year is also averaging 46 minutes per game. He is fourth in the conference in scoring at 17.8 ppg, just four-tenths behind junior Corey Lowe
, who scored 33 points against Stony Brook.
Senior Matt Wolff leads the team in rebounding at 5.4 rpg, while freshman Jake O'Brien is third in both scoring and rebounding at 11.3 ppg and 4.3 rpg. Since joining the starting lineup against Albany, junior Scott Brittain has been an important contributor, averaging 10.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg and 1.4 bpg in the last five games.
Up next for the Terriers is a visit to Maine on Sunday at 1 p.m.