By: Andrew Mason
NEWARK, DEL. — Boston University Women’s Basketball looks to grab its first road victory of the season on Sunday, as the team flies down to Newark to take on University of Delaware. The Terriers most recent game ended in a 72-57 loss at the University of New Hampshire on Wednesday.
Aside from limiting turnovers, of which BU (1-1) had 45 through the first two games, the emphasis for Sunday falls on stopping UD’s star forward, Nicole Enabosi. The six-foot junior from Gaithersburg, Md. is averaging 21.7 points-per-game and 11 rebounds-per-game so far this season.
In 2016-17, Enabosi led the Fighting Blue Hens (2-1) in five statistical categories, and ranked 17th in all of NCAA Division I with 16 double-doubles. The Hens offense is going to run through her this season, and certainly on Sunday. The Terriers strategy: Enabosi can’t score if she doesn’t get the ball.
“We need an aggressive defensive mentality to limit her touches as much as possible,” said Naiyah Thompson, a BU junior who played against Enabosi in AAU. “She’s always been a tough player.”
As posts, it’s BU’s Sophie Beaudry, Corinne Williams and Kara Sheftic who will lead the way in terms of keeping the rock out of Enabosi’s hands.
“My goal is to out-work her before she gets the ball. Other teams do it to me, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work the other way around,” explained Beaudry, who is five inches taller than Enabosi. “Box her out – she cannot get offensive rebounds and easy put-backs.”
The Terriers have already been put to the test against an exceptional post player this season, in University of New Hampshire’s Carlie Pogue. On Wednesday, Pogue shot 8-of-9 from the floor, landing 18 points and 7 rebounds.
That being said, the Terriers have weapons of their own as well. The Blue Hens will try to be the first team this season to stop junior Payton Hauck from setting a new personal career-high in points. She has been phenomenal on both ends of the floor, leading the team in total points (31) on 62.5 percent shooting. Hauck also has tallied three steals this season.
Point guard Katie Nelson has been solid as the floor general for the Terriers. Aside from missed free throws, the freshman has not looked like a first-timer to the Division I speed. She is calm with the basketball, and very rarely lets her defender set the pace for her. After just two games, Nelson weighs in at second in the Patriot League in total assists (11) and assists per game (5.5).
Down low, Beaudry (13 ppg, 6 rpg) always poses a threat to score and block shots. This should continue against UD, especially when Enabosi steps off the floor. As for Williams (3.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg), her length is needed in order to properly contest any UD shots in the paint.
The Terriers and the Blue Hens have not played each other for 11 years. However, UD has won nine of the last 10 meetings, with the last BU road victory dating back to 1992. BU has a chance to change the series trend on Sunday inside Bob Carpenter Center at UD. The matchup is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. in Newark, Del.