By: Greg Levinsky
In their final tuneup before turning the calendar and the conference slate, the Boston University women’s basketball team suffered their most lopsided loss of the 2017-18 campaign to the Brown University Bears, 92-68.
Sophomore forward Nia Irving deposited a team-high 19 points and 11 rebounds and junior forward Naiyah Thompson netted a season-high 13 points off the bench. She added seven rebounds.
Sophomore guard Justine Gaziano and junior guards Shayna Mehta, Taylor Will and sophomore forward Erika Steeves all reached double figures for the Bears.
Gaziano finished with a game best 26 points. Mehta had 18, Will 16 and Steeves 12.
The Terriers (5-5) finished their non-conference slate on Friday afternoon at Brown University’s Pizzitola Sports Center, and will enter Patriot League play looking to halt a three game losing streak.
Falling behind by as much as 30, BU could not stay competitive with Brown after falling behind almost immediately. The Terriers never led. BU last played on on December 13 at home against the University of Central Florida. Coming off a season low in points (32) by a hefty 25 point margin, the Terriers struggled from the outset, especially on the defensive end.
The Bears (10-1) are winners of eight straight with their only loss coming at the hands of the then-AP Poll No. 20 University California Golden Bears. Brown has matched their best start to a season in program history.
Brown ranks 37th of 335 NCAA Division I women’s basketball team in points per game and strutted their offensive prowess early by scoring the game’s first six points. Irving scored BU’s opening bucket just over three minutes in.
Irving attempted six first quarter shots, connecting on two and grabbing four rebounds. The Terriers shot just 4-15 (26.7 percent) in the opening frame and turned it over eight times to create a 14 point deficit.
Her team-leading 12 points and eight rebounds in the first half weren’t enough as Gaziano paced the Bears with 18 first half points maintain a 47-30 halftime lead.
The Terriers could not stop the surging Brown offense after the break. The Bears began the second half on a 10-2 run. The third quarter was not kind to the Terriers, who trailed by nearly 30 points, 79-50 heading into the final quarter.
The deficit proved insurmountable, but the Terriers did outscore Brown 18-13 in the fourth quarter.
BU heads to West Point for a tilt with the United States Military Academy for their first Patriot League show down. The Black Knights (7-4) will have endured a nearly two-week layoff from game play before hosting the Terriers.