By: Andrew Mason
Four different Terriers reached double-digit scoring off the bench on Wednesday, a night in which BU grabbed its third win in the last four games. The 78-61 victory over the Bryant Bulldogs (0-6) secured the Terriers (4-2) their best start since the 2007-08 season. The Terriers played their most complete game of the season, the only outing all year in which they did not lose a single quarter.
Sophomore forward Nia Irving could not be stopped in the first 20 minutes of action, pouring in 16 points and collecting five rebounds by halftime.
“I was just doing a better job of letting the game come to me and not trying to force anything,” Irving said. “Last game I was off balance on a lot of my shots and just needed to make sure I had my feet under me.”
The scarlet and white headed into the locker room with a seven-point lead. But in the second half, it was another non-starter who pushed the tempo yet again. Freshman Tenisha Pressley put on a show, scoring 12 points and snatching three boards in the last two quarters alone. The Deptford, N.J. native wrapped up her performance by posting a new career-high with 15 points, which included three buckets from beyond the arc.
Meanwhile, Irving cooled off in the second half, concluding the night with 16 points off of 8-of-10 shooting, adding seven rebounds and three assists in her 21 minutes of play.
The rest of the bench added valuable minutes, finishing with a season-high 56 bench points. In the Terriers’ last contest, a home win against Boston College, they gave up a 17-2 run to the Eagles in the final five minutes. Wednesday night, Head Coach Katy Steding used everybody on the roster, creating a dynamic bench that was able to hold down the fort and keep the sizable lead.
“The energy in the locker room and on the court was great for us,” Irving said. “We have a lot of players who are able to step up and make big contributions both offensively and defensively.”
On the defensive end, BU kept Bryant’s scorers in check, not allowing anyone to have a breakout game. With 25 turnovers, the Bulldogs finished with only two players in double-digit scoring. Freshman Hannah Scanlan led with 13 points to go with five rebounds.
Starting point guard for BU, freshman Katie Nelson (7 points, 6 assists, 3 rebounds), got a chance to rest her legs a bit. The team’s leader in minutes per game (36.8), put up seven points in 33 minutes of action, her lowest minute count all year.
The Terriers continue their road trip this weekend as they head up north to take on the Vermont Catamounts (2-5). BU’s fifth away game in the last six contests tips off on Sunday, Dec. 3 at 2 p.m. in Burlington.