By: Andrew Mason
BOSTON — The Colgate Raiders’ sideline was in a frenzy Wednesday night, up 58-54 with 14 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, dreams of ending a 14-game losing skid becoming reality. The Terriers were going to fall for the seventh game in a row and hand Colgate its first conference win of the season.
Down four, the scarlet and white inbounded the ball, either needing a quick two or a chance at a 3-point bucket. Katie Nelson (nine points, six assists) came off a flare screen, received the ball on the left wing and sank a 3-pointer with 7.4 ticks to go to pull BU within one.
On the ensuing Raiders’ inbounds pass, it was Nelson again who played hero, as she stole the pass and pushed the ball up the floor as the clock rapidly approached triple zeros. Nelson dished the rock to Naiyah Thompson (five points, two steals), who attacked the basket and drew the foul, earning her a trip to the free throw line with 2.1 seconds remaining.
“I don’t even remember how Katie [Nelson] got the ball,” Thompson said. “I just took off, knew we needed a bucket.”
A chance for BU to take the lead or tie the game up at 58 a piece, Thompson, a 61 percent free throw shooter, failed to connect on the first attempt.
“If I miss the first, I have to make the second one – missing wasn’t an option anymore,” she said. “I missed long, so I took a half an inch back.”
The second attempt floated up and in, and the game was tied at 58. After a quick defensive stand, the Terriers pushed the game to overtime. In the extra five minutes, it was old reliable, forward Nia Irving (19 points, 6 rebounds) who took the reigns.
Irving had her way inside, grabbing the Terriers’ last six points and leading them to a 66-64 victory at Case Gym. BU moves to 9-13 on the season, 4-8 in Patriot League, while Colgate drops their 15th straight and looks towards a 4-19 (0-12 Patriot League) record.
“I’m not the tallest player, so I kind of just try to muscle through people,” Irving noted. “I do whatever I can to get the shot up.”
The sophomore out of Fairfield, Maine leads the scarlet and white in both scoring (12.1) and rebounding (6.1) per game. Wednesday was her sixth game this season reeling in at least 19 points.
Although the win came against one of the worst teams in the country, it could not have come at a better time. After a 5-2 start, then an average middle of the season, the Terriers took a big dip, losing every game since Jan. 11 when they won 62-49 over none other than Colgate.
BU’s fourth year Head Coach Katy Steding emphasized the need for Wednesday’s win.
“It takes quite a bit of work to get your swag back when you get down,” Steding said. “Whether it’s the best team in the league or not, it’s still an important victory because of where it fell in our timeline.”
An integral part of the win was the play of senior co-captain Sophie Beaudry. The center out of Chambly, Quebec had an efficient outing, hauling in 12 points and three rebounds on 4-of-5 shooting from the field and a perfect 4-of-4 from the charity stripe. Beaudry saw the floor for the most minutes (29) since a Nov. 26 victory over Boston College.
Tenisha Pressley also stepped up with an all around effort in the win. In 36 minutes, the guard out of Deptford, N.J. tallied 10 points – her first double digit outing in over two months – to go with four assists, four steals and three rebounds.
Senior co-captain Corrine Williams left the game midway through the first quarter due to a head injury suffered on the first play of the night. A Raider had thrown the ball at Williams head in an effort to try and save the ball from going out of bounds. Steding said Williams will is questionable for Saturday’s game.
This weekend the ninth-place Terriers head to Worcester, Mass. to take on the seventh-place Holy Cross Crusaders.
“Now that we have some momentum back, it should be a lot easier to use that for the next games,” Irving said. “As long as we go out and play hard against Holy Cross, we should be able to pick up another ‘W’ there.”
The scarlet and white enter the Hart Center at the Luth Athletic Complex on Saturday, Feb. 10. Tip-off is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.