By: Alex Smith
Boston University Women’s Basketball continued their quest for a non conference win on Wednesday night against the University of Rhode Island, and had their most promising showing yet, taking a 23-21 lead into the halftime break. A rough third quarter put them down 12, and after a contested fourth quarter the final score read 57-41 in favor of the Rams.
Sarah Hope played all 40 minutes, matched a BU record with seven made three pointers, and sprinkled in a nice left handed scoop and score to finish with a game-high 23 points. Though she started 0-4, the junior guard never stopped shooting and finished with 8 makes on 18 attempts.
She carried the load for an offense that was missing its leading scorer in Meghan Green, who remains day-to-day with a foot injury. Green is the type of player BU likes to give the ball to with seven or eight seconds on the shot clock for ‘bail out’ type of shots, and on a night where URI defended extremely well, she was sorely missed.
URI’s length and athleticism on the perimeter was tough for the Terriers to deal with all night. In 5’11” guard pair Dominique Ward and Tayra Melendez, the Rams held a size advantage at the guard spots. The 1-2-2 zone URI typically employs flattened into a sort of 3-2 coverage, with URI’s length up top making Terrier penetration on offense a near impossible task.
Add in URI’s 6’3” senior Samantha Tabakman protecting the rim, and BU’s 19% from the field begins to make a bit more sense. It would be easy to dismiss it as simply an off night shooting for the Terriers, but that would be slighting a hard-working Rams defense that swatted away 11 shots and rarely allowed the Terriers a clean look at the hoop.
Kara Sheftic battled with Tabakman inside throughout the game, and despite being outsized played extremely well. So impressed was coach Steding that she heaped praise on her sophomore post despite being asked about Sarah Hope’s career night in the post game press conference.
The Terriers played easily the best basketball of their season in the second quarter, outscoring the Rams 17-7. Hope stayed hot and was good for 12 of those, and Sheftic added both of her field goals in the period.
BU has been prone to meltdowns this season, and it came in the third quarter this time. Hope’s triple with 7:35 remaining in the period gave BU a 26-23 lead, but from there the Rams went on a 17-0 run. Charise Wilson led the charge after sitting for most of the first half in foul trouble, and the Terriers couldn’t bounce back after URI’s big run, ultimately falling by 16 points.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
Sarah Hope: Not much to say here, seven made threes and equaling a school record speaks for itself. Her 23 points were more than half that the team scored, which is the definition of carrying the load.
Turnovers: Heading into the game, it was easy to see the Terriers struggling mightily against a quick and long defense that has been forcing teams into an average of 20 TOs per game. BU only gave away the ball 13 times compared to URI’s 15, which is encouraging to see going forward
WHAT WENT WRONG
Everyone not named Hope and Sheftic: In addition to the tough defensive work she did, Kara Sheftic was also the only non-Hope Terrier to make more than one field goal on the game. Troi Melton didn’t score from the field, going 0-10, and BU’s trio of freshman guards combined to go 1-18. It is awfully hard to win a game shooting 12-61, but it is difficult to see scoring problems, at least to this degree, persist for the Terriers.