By: Greg Levinsky
Despite a valiant comeback effort, the Boston University women’s basketball team could not overcome Harvard University’s three-point barrage. After connecting on seven straight triples, the Crimson outlasted the Terriers, 80-70.
“I think we kind of led them into it, unfortunately,” said BU Head Coach Katy Steding. “We didn’t come out of the zone fast enough, we should’ve come out of it faster.”
Team USA member and Harvard (3-2) sophomore forward Jeannie Boehm proved a constant threat on both the offensive and defensive ends. Boehm altered countless shots, including four first half blocks.
Harvard sophomore guard Katie Benzan torched the Terriers for 22 points last season, but it was a new face who had BU’s number.
Junior guard Taylor Rooks netted a game-high 22 points and 11 rebounds, leading a quintet of double scorers for the Crimson.
“You’ve got to pick your poison with them because they’re really good at executing their action against man, and they’re really good shooters if you don’t rotate in your zone,” Steding said.
Katie Nelson paced the Terriers (2-2) with 19 points and 5 assists, and senior Corinne Williams added 17 points.
Nelson started right where she left off after scoring 25 points in Sunday’s 85-79 victory. The freshman point guard accrued nine points in the opening frame en route to a 17-12 Terrier lead by first quarter’s end.
Despite controlling the offensive boards in the second quarter nine to two, the Terriers found themselves trailing 35-29 at halftime.
Benzan netted two triples in the second quarter as the Crimson went 8-11 from the field including connecting on all five of their attempts from beyond the arc. The Terriers struggled in the second quarter, shooting just 4-16.
After shooting 80 percent from the charity stripe in Sunday’s victory at Delaware, the Terriers shot just 5-11 from the free throw line in the first half, but went 10-13 down the stretch.
Senior guard Megan Doogan and junior forward Naiyah Thompson started the second half for the Terriers. Steding said she was just looking to mix it up with the Crimson sitting in a zone.
“We tried to stretch them a little bit,” Steding said. “We tried to mix it up with some shooters to get a spark.”
Junior guard Madeline Raster hit back-to-back triples in the third quarter for the Crimson, extending the Terrier deficit to double figures for the first time just over three minutes into the second half.
Harvard freshman Jadyn Bush converted consecutive layups on the Terriers full court trap, with the Crimson extending their lead to as much as 20.
Down 20 with 2:05 left in quarter, the Terriers went on a 14-0 run spanning until the third minute of the game’s final stanza.
“[We] just got more aggressive with it, they started to see some success and they worked harder at it,” Steding said. “At the end of the day, when players are fairly equal, and not trying to take anything away from Harvard, I think we’re evenly matched.”
“That stretch, we outworked them. It wasn’t long enough and wasn’t sustained enough,” Steding added.
The trio of Thompson, Williams and junior guard Payton Hauck suffocated the Crimson offense at the outset of the fourth quarter, forcing consecutive turnovers and scoring five points in the first 50 seconds to cut the deficit back to single digits.
Williams came alive at the end of the third quarter adding a steal and three points in the last minutes of the third.
Late in the fourth the deficit proved too steep, as the Crimson hung on after making all nine of their free throws down the stretch.
“I think they out-toughed us tonight,” Steding said. “It was a physical team and they’re a good rebounding team, we did not rebound well.”