By: Greg Levinsky
There are two ways a team can respond following a week-long hiatus from game play. Either you can be sluggish and dull, or you can be well-rested dominate. On Wednesday night at Case Gym, the Boston University women’s basketball team appeared the latter.
Not having played since the prior Tuesday with two days off for Thanksgiving in between, the Terriers (3-2) blitzed the Wildcats (1-6) for a commanding 60-39 victory.
Head coach Marisa Moseley said her squad treated the short break from game play as a “minicamp.” It certainly showed, as the Terriers played a pesky zone that resulted in 20 points off 14 Wildcats turnovers. They doubled UNH’s fast break points, outscoring the Wildcats 8-4 in transition.
“We wanted to try to get a little bit more in shape,” Moseley said. “At the same time, we really focused on tonight. I challenged the big guys to get six points in each half running in transition.”
While they did not reach Moseley’s goal in the first half, they exceeded it in the final two quarters.
After falling behind 6-0 to start the game, BU responded to take a 31-24 halftime lead. The Terriers furthered their advantage with an 11-3 run to end the third quarter and bolster a 20 point margin for most of the final stanza.
The Wildcats didn’t break double-digit points in either the third or fourth quarters.
Junior forward Nia Irving collected a game-high 16 points including a pair of fast break layups. She said the Thanksgiving break allowed the Terriers to practice longer and focus on physicality.
“We’ve had some very long conditioning practices this past week because we know we haven’t been running on teams as much as we should be in the past few games,” Irving said. “That was the main emphasis.”
She said after a grueling week of practice, the team was extra pumped for Wednesday night. They were eager to demonstrate what they had worked on.
“It felt really good to actually have a game, and we just use that excitement and say ‘hey, this is a day where we don’t actually have practice’,” Irving said. “We can take everything we’ve been doing the last week and apply it now.”
Four starters played at least 30 minutes as the Terriers continue to have a carousel of injuries. Sophomore guard Tenisha Pressley has yet to see the court this season, while junior Vanessa Edgehill and freshman Ashley Sieper missed the contest with injury.
Their absences left the Terriers with eight available players, but just the starters along with freshman Riley Childs (21 minutes) played significant roles in the rotation before more role players got in as the lead ballooned.
Irving played 30 minutes. Senior guard Lauren Spearman (11 points) played 39, and sophomore guard Katie Nelson (10 points, 4 assists) played 38 as the Terriers improved to 3-0 at home.
Greg Levinsky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GregLevinsky