By: Ethan Fuller
BOSTON, MA — Despite tying the score two separate times in the fourth quarter, Boston University women’s basketball fell in their final regular season contest to Loyola University Maryland, 59-55. The Terriers finish their schedule at 15-13 with an 11-7 record in conference play. Loyola Maryland improves to 6-23 on the year, finishing their Patriot League slate at 5-13.
The Terriers knotted the game at 50 and 55-all, but was never able to take the lead away from Loyola Maryland, who played tough defense when it counted most.
“I thought we battled back, but they just made more plays than we did,” Terrier head coach Marisa Moseley said postgame. “We didn’t do a good job containing dribble penetration.”
Sophomore Katie Nelson’s game-opening jumper gave BU their only lead of the night, and the Greyhounds responded with a 9-0 run to build a gap early.
But the first quarter was suddenly halted by a jarring injury to Loyola Maryland guard Alexis Gray. After she and Terrier Naiyah Thompson both dove for a loose ball, Gray landed hard on the court and was down for several minutes. Eventually paramedics wheeled the junior off in a neck brace, though Gray was alert and responsive as she left.
The game was paused for such an extended period that both sides were allowed a five-minute warmup session, even though just 8.7 seconds remained in the first quarter.
BU began to close the gap as the first half winded down. Though the Greyhounds took their largest lead, a 24-15 edge in the second quarter, BU fought back behind impressive paint scoring from forward Nia Irving. She scored all of her team-high 13 points in the first half while adding three offensive boards.
However, it was Greyhound freshman Taleah Dixon who put together the night’s marquee performance. Dixon came off the bench but scored 20 points in just 26 minutes, making seven of her thirteen shots and six of seven free throws. She led all second-half scorers with 11 points, often with confident drives that displayed poise well beyond her years.
Still, the Terriers had multiple opportunities at the lead. During the deadlock at 55, BU corralled five straight offensive rebounds but failed to break the tie. As a team, the Terriers shot just 28.6 percent from the floor and 15.4 percent from deep in the second half.
“We got a lot of opportunities on that one possession,” Moseley said of the play, which lasted nearly three minutes. “We had four or five shots at the basket, and that’s frustrating [that BU couldn’t score].”
Perimeter shooting was an issue for BU throughout the game. Senior Payton Hauck had a quiet game and failed to even attempt a three-pointer. Meanwhile, senior Lauren Spearman was just 2-of-12 from deep, and Katie Nelson (2-of-5) was the only other Terrier to register a make from behind the arc.
Coach Moseley said her squad just wasn’t “firing on all cylinders” in terms of three-point shooting, but believes that’ll change come postseason. “Usually when we have another threat out there, it helps our whole offense run a bit better,” she added.
While the Terriers failed to end their season with a victory, they’ll still head into the Patriot League playoffs with plenty of optimism. BU enters the tournament holding the fourth seed, their highest ranking since joining the conference. After being ranked ninth in the preseason power rankings, the Terriers have surpassed all expectations.
Boston University will host Holy Cross in the Patriot League quarterfinals, with tipoff scheduled for 7 p.m. on Monday. The Crusaders swept BU in the regular seasons, but both scores were close, with the Terriers losing by only three in the last matchup at Case Gym.
Coach Moseley said the team would take a day off, but that gearing up for a potential playoff run will be key during the extended break. “We’re going to prep and do the best we can to get ready for [Holy Cross]… it’s hard to beat a team three times.”
“I think [BU] will be ready, and I told them I’d show them how to win.”