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Women’s basketball defeats URI

MICHELLE JAY/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Senior guard Chantell Alford.

Coming off of a single-digit loss to the University of Michigan, the Boston University women’s basketball team went on the road again Tuesday night to take on the University of Rhode Island. Due in large part to a stout man-to-man defense, the Terriers (4–3) rolled to a 54–29 victory at the Ryan Center in Kingston, R.I.

The Terriers’ strong defensive showing was critical to their success as they forced the Rams to commit 14 turnovers. The Terriers scored 19 points off of the URI turnovers.

Senior guard Chantell Alford led all scorers once again with 17 points on 7-of-13 shooting. She drained two treys on three attempts during the night.

Holding down the paint was junior forward Rashidat Agboola, whose 14 rebounds and eight points contributed to the stellar Ram blowout

The game began with a series of missed shots from each team before URI opened the scoring with a jumper from forward Samantha Tabakman. BU then went on a 14-point tear that gave them a lead they would not relinquish for the rest of the matchup.

“From the get-go, I thought we established a pretty good presence offensively, attacking the basket,” said BU coach Kelly Greenberg. “We got a lot of good shots early on. We didn’t hit a lot of them, but we were definitely getting what we wanted.”

In the first half, the Terriers struggled to find the bottom of the net, shooting just 33 percent from the floor. They did, however, manage to bury 6-of-11 3-pointers for a clip of 54 percent from deep.

The Terriers were also strangers to the free throw line, taking just two free throws in the first half and missing both of them.

Heading into the locker room at half time, the Terriers were up big with a 22–9 advantage.

In the second half, the Terriers showed improvement in nearly all areas, shooting 43 percent from the floor to go along with an improved 57 percent from the charity stripe. Guards were able to penetrate the defense and subsequently draw fouls or dish short passes to the forwards under the hoop as the Rams tried to adapt.

BU initiated the half with a strong 6–0 run and continued to apply defensive pressure that would yield a 19 percent field goal conversion rate from the Rams over the course of the game. With the early lead, Greenberg was able to send some younger talent on to the court. This strategy differed from her usual seven or eight man rotation, and served to better acclimate the team’s youth to collegiate competition.

“It’s always nice to get some people some minutes,” Greenberg said. “They get more comfortable, especially the freshmen who haven’t gotten any minutes or played a whole lot.”

One Terrier who has been seeing substantial minutes lately is junior guard Danielle Callahan who, after complying with NCAA transfer rules and battling back from injury, is seeing her first significant playing time in three years.

“I feel good,” Callahan said.  “We have a great supporting cast, and we’re really good at looking for each other. We’re really spreading out the scoring pretty evenly. We like to make that extra pass and work the ball around to keep everyone involved.”

Callahan is averaging 7.7 points per game and is currently third on the team with 12 3-point field goals.

The Terriers will return home to host St. John’s University in Case Gym on Saturday night. Tipoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.

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