By: Alex Cohen
Boston University women’s basketball had their seven-game winning streak broken up in an especially heartbreaking manner to American University, losing 55-54 on Saturday.
Coming off such a large winning streak, including several impressive wins over exceptional teams in Holy Cross, Colgate, and Bucknell, it was unexpected that the American University Eagles, 10-15 going into the game, would give the 15-10 Terriers such trouble. But BU never led by more than eight points, and only led by four at the half and by three going into the fourth quarter.
Both teams showed terrific resilience — the Eagles not being daunted by BU’s winning streak and the Terriers nearly coming back after allowing a 13-0 run to start off the fourth, but the Eagles were able to narrowly pull away at the end.
BU’s stellar physical defense, which played a huge part in their winning streak, held the Eagles to just 34 percent shooting from the field and 28 percent from three, but also resulted in the Eagles getting a plethora of free throw attempts in which they capitalized on, making 16 of 18.
American University has the second-highest free throw percentage in the Patriot League at 74 percent, led by the proficiency of Kaitlyn Marenyi and Jade Edwards. The two rank 3rd and 5th in the league in free throw percentage at 81 and 77 percent, respectively. Marenyi and Edwards had 13 and 15 points against BU (respectively), many of which came off clutch free throw shooting. In the final 18 seconds, they combined to make three of four free throws to keep American up three.
Maggie Pina then tied it with a clutch three-pointer with four seconds left, one of many clutch shots she has canned on this winning streak. But Pina’s clutch shot was wiped away by Edwards, who was fouled on a layup attempt and made the game-winning free throw with 0.3 seconds remaining.
Outside of Marenyi and Edwards, Indeya Sanders had an exceptional and versatile game for American, with seven points, eight rebounds, two steals, and a career-high ten assists — the most in the Patriot League this season.
The Terriers had a reversal of the Eagles’ game offensively, shooting a respectable 48 percent from the field and 42 percent from three, but made just five of ten free throw attempts. Along with their free throw shooting, BU was hurt by an atypical performance by Katie Nelson, who leads the Terriers in scoring and assists, but was held to just four points and two assists on 2-9 shooting from the field and 0-3 from three point range.
Maggie Pina and Maren Durant led the Terriers in scoring with 11 points apiece. Pina made three of four threes, including that game-tying shot. Durant made five of her six field goal attempts, and was a physical presence inside with nine rebounds and four blocks, though she also picked up 5 fouls. Sydney Johnson had ten points, made two three-pointers on three attempts, and had a season-high seven assists, but was 0-2 on free throws.
BU ranks third in the Patriot League in three point percentage at 35 percent, but they rank just eighth in attempts from distance. The Terriers will look to bounce back next Wednesday at home against difficult competition in 16-10 Lehigh, who beat BU 51-34 in their last game earlier in the season. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
Featured image by Hannah Yoshinaga.