By: Ethan Fuller and Andrew Mason
BOSTON, MA – Since the new semester began at Boston University, the Terriers (11-10, 7-4 in conference) have won three of the last four contests, including three straight on the road. Following a 52-48 victory at Lehigh on Saturday afternoon, the scarlet and white move to third place in Patriot League standings, so let’s get you caught up with BU women’s basketball.
Saturday, Jan. 26 at Navy:
Wednesday, Jan. 30 at Lafayette:
The games weren’t pretty, but a two-game road stint proved no match for Boston University women’s basketball, who secured a pair of crucial wins. After stifling Navy in a 49-35 victory on Saturday, BU then erased a 13-point deficit versus Lafayette, beating the Leopards 47-44.
Ferocious defense characterized the two contests: the opposing point totals of 44 and 35 were two of the lowest this season. Navy shot just 23 percent against the Terriers, while Lafayette converted only 36 percent of their attempts.
Meanwhile, BU looked like two different teams on offense. Against Navy, Marisa Moseley’s squad shot an impressive 44 percent from the floor, led by sophomore guard Katie Nelson’s 23 points on 9 of 15 shooting. The high rate proved enough despite the Terriers only corralling five offensive rebounds.
Ball security was also an issue against Navy. BU turned the ball over a season-high 21 times, though the Midshipwomen only scored eight points off those turnovers.
In stark contrast, the Terriers went cold against Lafayette. The team shot a season-low 29.5 percent, including 2 for 12 from beyond the arc. Even junior Nia Irving, who has been an efficient staple thus far, went just 5 of 16 as part of her 15 points. However, the forward did set the tone on the glass, grabbing eight offensive boards as part of her 14 total rebounds. And after setting a season high in turnovers, BU came back with just eight against the Leopards, a new low on the year.
Freshman Riley Childs continued to look strong off the bench. The forward averaged nine points and 6.5 rebounds during the road trip while scoring at a 50 percent clip.
Senior guard Lauren Spearman is still in a rough shooting patch for BU. She’s shot just 10 of 47 (9 for 39 from deep) in her last three outings. Still, Spearman leads the Patriot League with 2.5 threes made per game, and should be scouted as a deadly long range threat.
Saturday, Feb. 2 vs. Bucknell
BU returned to Boston where they were a solid 6-2 inside Case Gym. Despite a 23-point third quarter for the scarlet and white to overcome a 15-point halftime deficit, a well-rounded scoring effort by the Bison was enough to take down the home team.
Nelson snagged a team-high 22 points off of 6-11 shooting, including an impressive 4-7 from beyond the arc. Irving, who leads the squad with 12.8 points and 8.7 rebounds added 15 points and nine boards of her own.
But perhaps the biggest impact for the Terriers came off the bench. Childs, who tallied 11 points and eight rebounds (four offensive), provided the spark and energy that BU needed to crawl their way back into the contest.
“Coach [Moseley] and I talk a lot about my role,” Childs said. “One of my main roles is that I have to get rebounds, so I just did what I could to get in there.”
The freshman demonstrated her solid shooting skill on Wednesday, going 5-11 from the field. Most of those buckets came from midrange, a skill in which Childs says she has worked on since coming to Boston University.
“[Shooting midrange] hasn’t been a strong suit in the past, but we do a lot of work in practice,” she said. “They went in today and I was really happy about it.”
After scoring only 8 points in second quarter, the Terriers rocked Case Gym by boasting a 23-point third quarter, helped by three Nelson triples. Led by Childs’ aggression on the glass and four straight Irving conversions from the charity stripe, BU took a fourth quarter lead before eventually falling 62-58 to the Bison.
Saturday, Feb. 9 at Lehigh
Mountain Hawks 48
Most recently, the Terriers traveled to Bethlehem, Penn. to take on the Patriot League powerhouse Mountain Hawks of Lehigh. With a chance to jump to third in conference standings, the scarlet and white seized the opportunity, leaving the Keystone State with a 52-48 victory.
Senior guard Payton Hauck found her rhythm once again, putting up 12 points with two boards. In addition, after a shaky offensive start to the year, Nelson is becoming a consistent weapon, tallying 15 points to go with four assists and three rebounds.
However, the sophomore point guard did commit nine turnovers, an uneasy glimpse back to her freshman year where she often struggled in that category. Nonetheless, turnovers are bound to happen when you play the most minutes in the Patriot League (37.7 minutes per game).
The momentum has certainly shifted for the BU women’s basketball program.
While three wins in four games isn’t anything this team isn’t capable of, it is important to recognize how far this team has come in such short time. In her first year as head coach, Moseley has led the team to more conference wins at the halfway mark than all of last year. The middling pack of the Patriot League standings has begun to thin out, and BU is in good position for that critical first-round bye.
Next up, the Terriers travel to Hamilton, N.Y. to take on the Colgate Raiders (9-11, 5-5 in conference). Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 13 on Cotterell Court.