By: Andrew Mason
BOSTON — A clutch fourth quarter defensive sequence for Boston University Women’s Basketball capped off a 74-73 victory over Northeastern on Friday night. Sophomore guard Payton Hauck led the way with a career-high 15 points in what was the first BU opening-night victory since 2012.
Head Coach Katy Steding set a team goal to score at least 58 points per game. Last season, the Terriers went 13-2 in games they reached 60 points; 0-15 in games they did not. On Friday night, the Terriers shooting was on point, reaching 74 points off of 49 percent shooting from the field.
But it was BU’s defense down the stretch that pulled out the win.
Down by one point with 22 seconds left in the game, Northeastern grabbed the rebound off a missed BU free throw, and turned up court towards their basket. After BU’s flustering defense forced a missed shot, the Huskies maintained possession off an offensive rebound, and kicked it out to point guard Stella Clark for a chance at the go ahead bucket.
Clark, who had registered 16 points in her rookie debut, launched up a floater but was met by a ferocious block by BU’s Sophie Beaudry (14 pts, 6 reb, 4 blk). The Huskies would have one more look at a quick catch-and-shoot off an inbound pass, but it was forward Corrine Williams (4 pts, 9 reb) who tipped it away as time expired.
“We all knew we weren’t losing that defensive possession no matter what,” Hauck said. “Great block by Sophie [Beaudry] and overall a great team effort.”
Senior Kara Sheftic added 10 points and 4 rebounds while Katie Nelson contributed 9 points and 8 assists in her first game in the scarlet and white. With the win, the Terriers move to 1-0 on the year and break a streak of four straight losses to the Huskies.
Prior to tip-off, BU’s energy level was an area of doubt for the team, as they often struggled to start practices with the intensity needed to compete on game day. But on Friday, led by Hauck, the Terriers silenced the skeptics.
“My game is strongest when I’m playing full speed and I think [Friday night] as a team we did great with getting the ball up the floor,” Hauck said.
In addition to the 15 points on six of nine shooting, and two assists in 17 minutes of action, Hauck finished with a team-high three steals.
“I’m very defensive minded […] so the hustling for steals or loose balls kind of comes naturally,” Hauck added.
The Terriers next travel to Durham, New Hampshire to face off against the Wildcats of the UNH. BU’s first road game of the year is set to tip off on Wednesday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. inside Lundholm Gymnasium.