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Terriers set to rematch top conference foe

Looking to take down a conference rival and extend its winning streak to seven games, the Boston University women’s basketball team travels to Albany, N.Y., to face the University at Albany Thursday.

With a victory Jan. 26 at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, the Terriers  (22–4, 12–1 America East) started a six-game winning streak, defeating several America East opponents along the way. The Terriers most recently took down the University of New Hampshire Saturday with the help of junior guard Danielle Callahan, who notched fifteen points, and junior forward Rashidat Agboola, who drained 12 points and grabbed nine rebounds.

To add to their impressive play this season, the Terriers have won an incredible 19 out of 20 games since Nov. 27, including a season-high 13-game winning streak between Nov. 27 and Jan. 19.  Senior guards Chantell Alford (15.6 points per game) and Mo Moran (6.07 Assists per game) were the major contributors to the offense throughout the streak.

However, the one loss the Terriers suffered was a crucial one. It came at the hands of conference-leading Albany (21–3, 12–0 America East) Jan. 23. But the Terriers have a chance to exact some revenge on Albany Thursday night.

The first time the two teams played, Albany controlled the flow of the first half of the game and pressured BU the entire length of the court. BU was forced to make tough passes, allowing Albany to get crucial steals. The first half of that game saw Albany absolutely dominate most facets of the game, and it built up a seemingly insurmountable lead at halftime, 31–17.

The Terriers slipped behind even more in the second half and were down by as many as 23 points. However, the Terriers mounted a second-half comeback for the ages, and nearly pulled out the win. BU cut its deficit to three points, but a late BU turnover gave Albany a five-point lead and allowed it to clinch the victory, 57–50.

“We’re excited and anxious,” said BU coach Kelly Greenberg on meeting Albany again. “They got us at our place. They really jumped on us and we had to play catch up.”

Albany guards did most of the damage to the Terriers in that game, as Lindsey Lowrie and Ebone Henry chipped in 16 and 15 points respectively.

Since that contest, the Great Danes won six in a row, with the team’s most recent victory coming by 14 points over the University of Hartford.

Much of the success, at least on the offensive side of the ball, comes from Henry. Her game against the Terriers was definitely not an aberration, as she has been dominant all season long. She averages 14.8 points per game, which is good for the team lead and second best in America East behind BU’s Alford.

To go along with the strong play at guard, the Great Danes also have a strong presence in the middle at the center position. New Zealand native Megan Craig, who stands at 6-foot-8, is a force to be reckoned with on offense. She is the second best on the team in scoring with 10.4 points per game and has shot 53 percent from the field, which is the second best among Albany starters.

“They have some good post players,” Greenberg said. “We’re very aware of their strengths. We can’t necessarily focus on one aspect of their game.”

With Craig and Henry to go along with the rest of the Albany squad, the team has averaged an impressive 67.8 points per conference contest and five 3-pointers made per game.

Its strong offense is supported by a stout defense, as the Danes have only allowed opponents to score 47.5 points per game. Even more significant is that they only allow teams to hit 26.1 percent of shots from behind the 3-point arc, as the Terriers use that shot effectively, averaging 7.2 3-pointers made per game.

“We have to hope some early shots fall and chip away from the get-go,” Greenberg said.

The game could ultimately decide the America East regular season champion.

“We want to win no matter where it puts us,” Greenberg said. “We have two more to play after this, too. But it’s definitely a goal for us to be at the top, especially since we can’t play in the tournament.”

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