On Friday night, the Boston University women’s basketball team did something it hadn’t done in 28 years — it beat Boston College in back-to-back meetings.
After defeating the Eagles last year by a score of 70–62, the Terriers (1–0) outlasted Boston College (0–1) again, winning 52–46 on opening night at Case Gymnasium.
With the energy of the home crowd behind them, the Terriers looked to jump on the scoreboard quickly. Senior guard Chantell Alford hit a 3-pointer after a pass from junior forward Rashidat Agboola and allowed the Terriers the opening bucket and an early lead. Alford hit her next shot, giving the Terriers the early momentum and a 5–0 lead to start.
Although it appeared as if the Terriers had a chance to run away with the game early on, the Eagles rallied, and both teams eventually hit offensive slumps.
After starting 2-for-2 from the field, BU’s offense went cold and never seemed to get in rhythm in the first half. The Terriers only shot at a 26.9 percent clip from the field from the first half and missed seven of their 3-point attempts and only hit 4-of-10 free throws.
Also prominent were Alford’s struggles from the field. After hitting her first two jumpers, the senior missed her next five shots of the half, finishing 2-of-7 in the first half of play.
Although BC did not shoot much better than the Terriers (30 percent from the field), the Eagles were in large part helped by the 3-point game. Freshman Nicole Boudreau dropped two of the Eagles’ 3-pointers and senior guard Kerri Shields hit all five of her free throws, allowing BC to have a slim lead of 20–19 after one half.
“It was a weird game, that first half,” Alford said. “It wasn’t pretty for either team.”
Although junior forward Whitney Turner hit her opening shot on a driving layup to start the second half for BU, things got out of control quickly.
The Eagles, led by Shields and forward Katie Zenevitch, went on a 12–2 run, giving them a 32–27 lead going into a timeout early in the half.
After the timeout, the Terriers seemed to play like a team on another level. With senior guard Mo Moran running the point, BU went on a run that propelled the team to victory.
“We stayed poised on both ends of the floor,” Alford said. “We hit some big shots and made some big shots.”
The Terriers shot at a much higher rate of 47.8 percent, including an improved 45.5 percent from behind the arc after finishing the first half shooting under 30 percent from the field. Although Alford struggled in the early portion of the second half, she picked up the slack and hit some crucial 3-pointers during a 25–4 run by the Terriers.
Moran and Agboola played crucial roles in the second half surge, with Moran dishing out key assists, and Agboola going 3-for-4 from the field. However it was not just the offense that propelled the Terriers in the second half, but the defense that helped the BU run.
“We had a lot of defensive pressure,” Alford said. “That’s what we pride ourselves on.”
The Terrier defense forced BC to turn the ball over seven times in the second half. BU also recorded three blocks in the second half, two from Agboola and one from Turner.
“It’s nice to have Rashidat and Whitney behind in the back,” said BU coach Kelly Greenberg, “we really pride ourselves in the half-court defense. We also made a lot of adjustments in the second half and I credit our players to do that on the fly in the first game of the year.”
Part of the second-half surge on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball was the spark provided by junior guard Danielle Callahan. The transfer was playing her first game with the Terriers after sitting out all of last season with an injury. The junior hit two key 3-pointers and provided strong defense.
With seven seconds remaining in the game, Moran sank a pair of free throws and solidified the victory by putting the Terriers up six.
The win not only jumpstarted the season, but it also gave Greenberg her 150th victory as a BU coach.
“As Chantell would tell you I’m not a numbers person, but BU has been a special place to me,” Greenberg said. “The players I’ve coached over the years and the current players, that’s what it’s all about.”
On Monday the Terriers play another tough non-conference opponent in West Virginia University.
“We take [non-conference games] very importantly,” Greenberg said. “Everyone knows I always say that if I take my mom in the backyard and play her I’d want to beat the hell out of her. I don’t care how old she is. I want to win anything we play.”