Fresh off of its 20th victory of the season, a 73–51 win over Binghamton University last Saturday, the Boston University women’s basketball team is set to take on the University of Vermont Wednesday night in Burlington, Vt.
This is the second meeting between the Terriers (20–4, 10–1 America East) and the Catamounts (7–16, 4–6 America East) this year. In the teams’ earlier match Jan. 9, BU soundly defeated Vermont, 58–30, at Case Gym. During the contest, BU’s tenacious defense held Vermont to a paltry 24.4 field goal percentage (11-of-45).
Despite the dominant effort put forward by the BU defense during the previous matchup, BU coach Kelly Greenberg does not expect another cakewalk for her Terriers.
“I don’t expect [the game] to be the same, no matter what,” Greenberg said. “[The Catamounts are] going to be on their home floor and they get a great crowd who’s really into it.
“I think it was one of those [games] where we jumped on them early — offensively and defensively — and we could coast a little bit once we got them early. We expect a completely different game at their place.”
Despite being nine games under .500, Vermont is 6–2 at home this season, as opposed to a dreadful 1–14 record on the road. It should be a different game with the Catamounts in the confines of Patrick Gymnasium.
Currently tied for fourth in America East with a 4–6 conference record, the Catamounts are the losers of four straight games, the longest current losing streak amongst America East teams.
Despite its below-average record, Vermont still boasts one of the toughest frontcourts in the conference. It is second amongst America East teams in rebounds per game (37.9) and third in blocks per game (2.8).
Two Vermont players that the Terriers will have to look out for are forwards Lauren Buschmann and Niki Taylor.
Buschmann is 11th amongst America East players in rebounds per game (5.7) and is averaging 7.4 points per game on the year, while Taylor leads the Catamounts in scoring, averaging 8.3 points per game and is ranked fifth amongst America East players in offensive rebounding at 2.8 a game.
For Greenberg, neutralizing the impact of Vermont’s forwards in the post will be crucial to a victory Wednesday.
“Vermont has a really good inside presence,” Greenberg said. “Taylor and Buschmann really look for each other. If one comes high, they can shoot it, and if other teams extend their defense out, they really look to get it into each other, and that’s where they score most of their points.
“We will definitely be ready for their high/low game and look to double their post players as much as possible.”
BU rebounded well from its loss against the University at Albany three weeks ago that snapped its season-high 13-game win streak.
Ranked second in the America East standings with a 10–1 conference record, the Terriers are led by the great play of junior forward Rashidat Agboola, who was named America East Player of the Week. This marks her second time receiving the award this season.
Agboola contributed across the board for the Terriers in the past week, averaging 15 points, nine rebounds, and 1.5 blocks a game. Agboola also led the team with a 76.9 field goal percentage over the last two games.
Greenberg said she believes the key to getting a win Wednesday rests in performance on the boards.
“The key is rebounding,” Greenberg said. “We can’t let them get going on the offensive glass, and we need to get the tempo of the game going our way.”