By: Liam O’Brien
After sweeping a two-game road trip, the Boston University women’s basketball team will return to Case Gym on Saturday afternoon for the first time in two weeks to host Marist College.
The Terriers have been on a roll following a 2-2 start and will be looking to capture their fourth consecutive victory as they welcome the Red Foxes (2-7) to Boston on Alumni Day.
BU dominated the University of Vermont (2-8) in Burlington last Sunday afternoon to the tune of a 57-41 final score. The squad jumped out to a 10-0 lead immediately from the outset, preventing the Catamounts from scoring a single point until the 4:26 mark of the first quarter. Vermont fought back to lessen the deficit to 16-12 at the end of the first period, however, the Terriers regained their momentum in the second period.
After a layup by senior center Sophie Beaudry with two minutes remaining in the quarter, BU held an insurmountable 31-19 advantage. Beaudry was solid in the paint, scoring nine points to go along with her 12 rebounds. But her performance was overshadowed by frontcourt teammate Nia Irving.
The sophomore forward exploded for 19 points and 14 rebounds despite going just 3-for-8 from the foul line. The double-double was Irving’s second of the season and fourth of her career while the season-high in points pushed her scoring average to 10.3 points per game.
Freshman point guard Katie Nelson continued what has been an impressive start to her season as well. Nelson netted three from behind the arc en route to 12 points while dropping six assists and six rebounds. The Bishop Feehan product is now averaging 13.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game over the first seven contests of her budding career.
The Terriers enter the seemingly annual matchup with Marist with the most promising roster in Head Coach Katy Steding’s tenure at BU. Steding has not yet been able to overtake the Red Foxes in three previous attempts.
Her team fell, 77-50, to Marist in her first season at the helm before succumbing by scores of 73-54 in 2015-16 and 76-57 last season.
Despite their poor record, the Red Foxes are more formidable than one would assume. The team has been harassed by a tough schedule, which has including the likes of Purdue University, Seton Hall University and Southern California University, which received votes for the Top 25 this past Monday.
These matchups prepared Marist for hosting University of Rhode Island on Wednesday night and they responded by clobbering the Rams, 64-42. The Red Foxes ran URI off the floor with an 18-0 run in the third quarter and were tenacious defensively throughout the game, forcing 23 turnovers.
The win was more impressive considering Marist was without their top scorer in sophomore guard Rebekah Hand due to a knee injury. While Hand is expected to be a game-time decision on Saturday, the Red Foxes have other performers the Terriers will need to look out for.
One of these impact players is Hand’s younger sister, Hannah Hand. The freshman guard is third on the team with 10.7 points on a team-best 52 percent shooting from the field. Marist also brings North Easton, Mass. native Alana Gilmer to the table.
Gilmer dominated in a 60-51 loss to Dartmouth University last Saturday, putting up 20 points and 10 rebounds for her first career double-double.
The Terriers attempt to quell the Marist force will tip off at 2:00 on Saturday afternoon.