By: Alex Smith
BU women’s basketball, after a brief Thanksgiving break, is searching for their first win as they travel to New Hampshire take on the Dartmouth Big Green (0-4) on Saturday at 2 p.m. Despite having faced each other 19 times, the last contest between the two took place way back on November 16th, 1998.
The afternoon tilt will see one team leave Leede Arena with their season’s first victory. Dartmouth has had a rocky start to the season, losing their four contests by an average of 12 points. Their most recent defeat to Jacksonville University came in the consolation round of the WNIT preseason tournament. They led by as much as 14 early in the third quarter, but the Dolphins slowly chipped away at the lead before finishing the game on a 9-0 run which earned them the 51-44 win.
After going 0-3 in the tournament, the Big Green will return to Hanover, N.H. for their second home game of the season. They hosted UNH in their home opener, and fell 61-57 after outscoring the Wildcats in each of the first three quarters.
The Terriers will look to capitalize on Dartmouth’s tendencies to fade late, but will have to key in on Kate Letkewicz, who poured in 12 of her 17 points against Jacksonville from downtown. The sophomore has netted 9.8 points per game this year, more than double the 4.4 she averaged last year.
BU has struggled to run shooters off the line, with Kelly Hughes (Boston College) and Kit Metoyer (Harvard) each netting 5 long balls against the Terriers in their last two games, so stopping Letkewicz will be a priority for coach Steding.
Lakin Roland will also be central to the Big Green offense, as she leads the team in PPG (11) and RPG (8). The 6-foot senior once made SportsCenter top ten plays (#5 for the curious) and chipped in six double-doubles last season.
BU is coming off a pair of double-doubles of their own, with Meghan Green and Troi Melton both turning in strong performances in BU’s 73-55 loss to Harvard. Both snatched 10 boards, with Green netting 18 and Melton adding 10.
Melton caught fire in the second quarter, with eight of her points coming in the frame. She tends to do most of her scoring in streaks, so the Terriers would be wise to try to get her going early and often.
Both teams have struggled to rebound the ball consistently, with BU posting a -9.7 margain. The Big Green give up 4 more than they pull down on average, and though they feature two 6’3” freshman in Isalys Quiñones and Emily Dryden, neither have seen significant minutes this year. Outside of the rookie duet, Dartmouth shouldn’t hold a height advantage over the Terriers, who returned the 6’1” guard Corinne Williams against Harvard.
Expect Williams to feature often for BU going forward, as she saw the floor for 22 minutes in her return. Steding seems to want to go small often, and Williams is the perfect player for a shorter lineup as she combines a guard skill set with a lanky frame. Her presence on the perimeter should help prevent penetration in the halfcourt, and her height should help the Terriers improve that rebound margin.
All signs are pointing to improvement for BU, and coming up against another winless squad is an opportunity they will look to capitalize on. BU’s freshmen guards have continued to impress and grow into their roles, and there is no reason that won’t persist as the Terriers travel for their first out of state contest. Williams’ return only strengthens a young and improving Terrier core, and they should head into the contest full of confidence as they square off against their weakest opponent of the season.
The game will be broadcast on TSRN, with WTBU Sports director James Mattone on the call. Tip off is scheduled for 2 p.m.