By: Andrew Mason
BOSTON — A heart-pulsing finish occurred in Case Gym on Tuesday afternoon, as the Boston University women’s basketball team dropped their first game of 2018 and moved to 6-6 on the season (1-1 in Patriot League).
With just under one minute remaining in regulation, the Terriers trailed Bucknell by three possessions, 59-52. Freshman Katie Nelson (11 points, 4 assists, 7 rebounds) received the ball on the right wing and launched up a 3-pointer. It was her third make of the game.
After a scoreless Bison possession, BU snatched the ball back, which fell into the hands of sharp-shooting sophomore Vanessa Edgehill (12 pointts, 3 steals, 5 rebounds) in the right corner. Edgehill’s three-ball rattled in, making it a one-point Bison lead with 15.9 ticks on the clock. However, that’s where the late-game heroics would end for BU. Bucknell cashed in on all their following four free throw attempts, handing the Terriers their first loss in Patriot League action, 63-58.
Senior Corrine Williams added 11 points with four boards and three blocks. Her co-captain Sophie Beaudry logged seven points to go with three assists and three rebounds. Coming off back-to-back double-doubles and a Patriot League Player of the Week honor, sophomore Nia Irving punched in four points and five rebounds.
A year ago, the Terriers lost by double-digits in their two meetings with the Bison, who went on to win the 2016-17 Patriot League Tournament. Although Tuesday’s defeat came at a lesser deficit, BU has lost three of its last four contests, including three in a row at home.
“[To compete closely with the defending champions] is a confidence booster, but that was a very winnable game for us, so the loss still stings,” Irving said. “We’re still out to prove that we can compete with anyone in this league.”
BU cleaned up their turnover habits against the Bison, which had hindered the team’s offensive performance for much of the early part of the season. Tuesday came with just 14 Terrier mishaps, just one more than their season low.
Win or lose, facing down-to-the-wire games early on in league play will likely pay off for BU as the season develops.
“For our team, the most important thing is to stay consistent [in a game’s final moments], and not let the emotions get to you,” Irving said.
BU will have a stab at ending the drought at Case Gym later this week. The Terriers welcome the 2-11 Greyhounds of Loyola University on Friday, Jan. 5. The Greyhounds currently sit at 0-2 in the PL, after a 69-62 home loss to Army West Point.