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Women’s basketball extends winning streak to 12 with victory over Maine

MICHELLE JAY/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF Chantell Alford scored 21 points in BU’s 12th straight victory.

MICHELLE JAY/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF Chantell Alford scored 21 points in BU’s 12th straight victory.

Riding an 11-game winning streak, the red-hot Boston University women’s basketball team continued its victorious ways Wednesday night, dismantling the University of Maine by a score of 85–54.

Despite senior guard Chantell Alford’s poor half, during which she only shot 2-of-8 from the field, the rest of the Terriers (15–3, 5–0 America East) picked up the slack.

Fellow senior guard Mo Moran led the Terriers in the first half with 11 points. Junior guard Danielle Callahan provided a spark off the bench, as she has done many times this season, contributing seven points in her 10 minutes of play for the Terriers in the opening frame.

Although the Bearcats (1–16, 0–4 America East) attempted to play BU with a zone defense, the Terriers were able to pick it apart and score 37 points in the first half.

“I was happy they played zone,” said BU coach Kelly Greenberg. “We were able to penetrate the gaps and set it up outside. We made a lot happen in the first half, which made the second half much easier.”

While the Terrier offense clicked in the first half, the team also put together a strong frame defensively.

BU’s potent defensive unit was able to contain Maine, which only shot 25 percent from the field and hit nothing from 3-point land.

The poor shooting performance translated into a measly 18 points for the Bearcats. Maine’s top scorers in the first half were guard Liz Wood and forward Danielle Walczak, who each netted four points.

The BU defense applied plenty of pressure on the Bearcat shooters, which forced a lot of poor shot selections. Although BU recorded only one block for the first half, its constant pressure allowed it to control the game.

The defensive effort was in large part led by junior forward Whitney Turner. In addition to four defensive rebounds and a steal in the first half, Turner also had fierce control of the paint.

Greenberg said she was impressed by the effort by Turner.

“She’s the one who goes a little unnoticed,” Greenberg said. “[She] comes in with a lot of energy. She did a little bit of everything tonight. She brings a lot to the table for us.”

Taking a 37–18 lead into the second half, the Terriers went right in for the jugular. The offense went on a quick 7–0 run, with all seven points coming from junior forward Rashidat Agboola. This Terrier run was a preview of what was to come for the rest of the half. BU shot a lights-out 58.1 percent from the field in the game’s final frame.

Despite her struggles in the first half, Alford picked it up in the second, finishing the game with 21 points, 15 of them coming from 3-point range.

Turner continued her strong play, ending the game with 13 points and grabbing seven rebounds.

Maine’s second-half effort was better than the first, at least on the offensive side of the ball.

Wood ended up scoring 14 points for the Bearcats, only one of two players on the team to score double-digit points.

Although Maine improved to a 37.1 percent from the field, the Terriers were too much to handle. With the game well in hand, Greenberg put in a group of players that have not seen much action yet this season.

Freshman guard Clodagh Scannell scored nine off the bench while her fellow freshman guard Dana Theobald saw some action and scored her first point as a Terrier.

BU cruised to an 85–54 win, but the game did not come without a little drama, as sophomore forward Mollie McKendrick came off the court icing her arm after diving for a ball at midcourt.

“I like the hustle, but you have to be smart,” Greenberg said. “I told her to not put herself in danger because we only have three forwards.”

The Terriers will look to tie last year’s longest streak by winning their 13th straight game as they travel to Durham, N.H., to take on the University of New Hampshire Saturday.

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