In their final game before the holidays, the Boston University Terriers will remain home after Saturday’s win over Nicholls State to welcome the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats on Friday evening. The Terriers will launch Patriot League play on the road against American when they return on Jan. 2.
In the two teams’ lone matchup last season, the Terriers (7-5) defeated the Wildcats (4-8), 90-87. Among the returnees, junior forward Max Mahoney and sophomore guard Javante McCoy were the only Terriers in double figures with 16 and 11 points, respectively.
Two of the three Wildcats who scored at least 20 points in that game returned this season: senior guard Isaiah Bailey and junior guard Malik Maitland. Bailey, however, has not made an appearance since Bethune-Cookman’s Nov. 13 win over Trinity Baptist.
Junior forward Cletrell Pope has been a force for the Wildcats, averaging 11.5 points, 11.6 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game. The 6-foot-9, 210-pound forward has posted six double-doubles for the season, including the last two games, when he averaged 21 points and 16.5 rebounds.
Matching Pope’s frontcourt prowess will be Mahoney and freshman forward Jordan Guest who swept the Patriot League weekly awards this week.
Mahoney, who has averaged 21.7 points and 7 rebounds per game on 76.3 percent shooting in the last three games, will look extend his three straight 20-point game. In his first career start, Guest scored 9 points in a win over Nicholls State last Saturday.
As a team, Bethune-Cookman has struggled to be efficient offensively, shooting 42.6 percent from the field, 29.2 percent from deep and 62.7 percent from the foul line. Considering BU’s recent success on the defensive end, the home team is favored to win.