By: Andrew Mason
BOSTON – Boston University suffered its worst loss of the season on Saturday, a 80-52 defeat at the hands of the now 3-7 Marist College Red Foxes. The loss snaps a three game winning streak for BU, as the Terriers now move to 5-3 on the year.
A poor defensive performance was at the heart of BU’s problems.
As they did the last time these teams met – a 76-57 victory for Marist in 2016 – the Red Foxes exploded from 3-point range, hitting seven from deep in the first half. Marist would finish the night with 11 triples, four different Red Foxes with two or more.
Marist junior Maura Fitzpatrick had the hot hand on Saturday, grabbing 15 points in the first half off of 7-11 shooting from the field. She cooled off after halftime, but finished with a game-high 18 points to go with 4 steals, 4 assists, and 4 rebounds.
“Defense was what helped us to that three game win streak,” said BU junior Lauren Spearman. “We didn’t bring it tonight as we had in the past three games.”
Throughout the win streak, the Terriers allowed opponents an average of 53 points per game. On Saturday, the 80 points for Marist was the most BU had given up in a home loss since November of 2015.
On the offensive end, the Terriers struggled to put the ball in the basket. A usually solid shooting team, BU shot a season-low 28.8 percent from the field, with nobody in double-digit figures for the first time all year.
Making her first start of the season, sophomore Nia Irving led the Terriers in both points and rebounds, with nine and seven, respectively. BU’s season leading scorer, freshman Katie Nelson (13.1 points per game), finished with nine points of her own, while senior co-captain Sophie Beaudry added seven points and four rebounds.
After the game, Head Coach Katy Steding stressed to her squad the importance of not letting a big loss like Saturday’s affect the team’s attitude going forward.
“‘Never too high after a win and never too low after a loss,’” Spearman said of [Steding’s] postgame comments to her team. “We aren’t going to let this dictate our next game or the rest of the season.”
If a positive could be taken away from the game, it was the fact that some Terriers that typically do not see a lot of floor time got their chance at action.
Spearman, along with seniors Meghan Doogan and Erin Bayram, and freshman Mackenzie Miers, were called into the game to help stop the bleeding, a difficult thing to do when the momentum is not on your side.
“You never know when your number is going to get called,” said Spearman, who finished with a steal. “It’s very important to be ready to come in and bring high energy when given the chance.”
Most notably, it was Miers who provided a spark off the bench. Making just her second appearance on the court this season, Miers blocked a seemingly wide open Marist layup in emphatic fashion, turning the energy is Case Gym up a notch.
The Terriers will stay at home for their next contest, a bout with the 4-4 Knights from the University of Central Florida. The game is set to begin at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 13 inside Case Gym.
“We have to come into practice on Monday with our minds on UCF,” said Spearman. “There’s a lot to be learned from a game like this, but we have to be positive and keep moving forward.”