By: Ethan Fuller
DURHAM, NH — Boston University basketball’s first road contest of the 2019-20 season belongs to Riley Childs.
The sophomore forward turned in her best performance in a Terrier uniform on Tuesday, scoring a career-high 21 points on 9-of-12 shooting (2-for-2 from deep) while grabbing six rebounds. Led by Childs, BU (1-1) used an efficient second half to pull away from the University of New Hampshire late, winning 78-64.
That 14-point margin of victory spawned off a 14-0 Terrier run late in the third quarter that took BU from a 48-51 deficit to a 62-51 advantage. The team kept the Wildcats safely at bay for the rest of the matchup, cruising to the win.
Controlling the glass quickly became a key strength for the Terriers in this contest. They outrebounded UNH 40-23, including a stunning 14-5 edge in offensive boards. The help came from everywhere; guards Katie Nelson and Sydney Johnson led the way with seven rebounds, Childs got her six, and forwards Nia Irving and Maren Durant each grabbed four apiece.
Once again, BU’s starting lineup dominated the scoring output. Irving, Nelson and Johnson joined Childs in double figures, while freshman forward Annabelle Larnard was close behind with eight points.
Nelson and Johnson regressed a bit on the scoring end, but made up for their struggles in other ways. Nelson dazzled the Wildcats with her elite vision which featured multiple cross-court dishes to open shooters and one no-look laser to Childs for a layup. She finished with six assists on the night.
Though Johnson was less efficient than in her breakout debut, her work on the glass coupled with three steals were much-needed contributions.
For the Wildcats, their success ran through redshirt senior forward Ashley Storey, who put up 24 points to go with five rebounds. Storey dominated inside for UNH on offense but struggled with fouls that forced her to sit for crucial stretches.
Surprisingly, freshman forward Maren Durant had the most success defending against Storey. At 6-foot-3, the two are equal in size, and Durant’s physicality and nose for the ball served her well against the more experienced Storey. Durant also finished a perfect 3-for-3 on the night, managing six points to go with her four rebounds in just 11 minutes.
One trouble area for the Terriers continues to be hitting free throws. Though they got to the line incredibly frequently — 30 free throw attempts to New Hampshire’s five — they made just 18. This ultimately proved inconsequential, but both games have now seen the Terriers miss more than ten attempts at the charity stripe.
In contrast, transition scoring looks like a signature skill for BU. After making progress in this area against Marist, the Terriers scored 19 points off turnovers in Tuesday’s game, including 11 fast break points.
With their first win in hand, BU continues their trek north to face the University of Maine. Coming off an NCAA Tournament appearance, the Black Bears are off to a 1-1 season start after dropping their most recent contest against Brown University. Tip-off for Sunday’s matchup is at 1:00 p.m.
Featured image courtesy of Brady Gardner.