Friday, April 18, 2014
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Veterans lead BU women’s basketball to victory over UMass

The Boston University women’s basketball team bounced back from Sunday’s tough 62-56 loss against Old Dominion University with a road win over the University of Massachusetts-Amherst Wednesday night at the Mullins Center.

The Terriers (3-6) defeated the Minutewomen (2-7) by a score of 66-63 in a back-and-forth tilt that had both teams battling until the final seconds of the contest.

BU went 20-for-62 on field goals on the night for a 32.3 percent success rate and made 23 of its 43 chances at the line, nine of which came from senior guard Danielle Callahan, who sunk all but one of her free throw attempts.

Three Terriers had double-digit scoring nights, as senior forward Rashidat Agboola, Callahan, and junior forward Mollie McKendrick recorded 21, 16 and 10 points, respectively. Senior forward Whitney Turner was impressive on the boards, snatching 13 rebounds on the night.

Callahan got BU’s night started in the first minute of the game, draining a 3-pointer to put the Terriers on the board early. Sophomore guard Katie Poppe followed up 30 seconds later with a jumper, giving BU a five-point lead early in the game, something the team had been struggling with all season long.

The Minutewomen fought back, evening the score at 7-7 with 16:54 remaining in the first half before taking the lead seven seconds later.  The lead was soon relinquished back to BU when freshman forward Sarah Hope tallied her first of two treys to pull the Terriers ahead 10-9.

BU would not fall behind again in the half, widening the gap to eight points with 5:09 left to go in the first before allowing UMass to pull within two as the buzzer sounded to stall the teams at 36-34.

The latter half was much more nerve-wracking for both teams.

The Terriers started the second half with a 4-0 run before the Minutewomen went up 41-40 with 16:16 left in the game. The teams traded the lead twice in the following minutes and UMass took a three-point advantage with 14:28 remaining. Agboola tied the score on a layup a little more than two minutes later.

UMass once again regained the lead on a layup from sophomore Rashida Timbilla with 11:20 to go, but BU tied the score a minute later, as freshman guard Courtney Latham mimicked her Minutewoman counterpart with a layup of her own. UMass Junior Emily Mital sunk a 3-pointer just 20 seconds later to put her team on top once again.

Separate free throws from McKendrick and Latham brought the Terriers within one with 9:11 remaining, but Massachusetts stretched its lead to three again with another layup from Timbilla.

McKendrick added a layup of her own to bridge the gap and, after UMass sophomore Nola Henry landed a free throw, tied the game at 53-53 on a jumpshot with 7:20 left in the game.

With five minutes left on the clock, and the score knotted at 55-55, it was crunch time.

UMass pulled ahead on a layup from junior Kim Pierre-Louis, but BU answered 10 seconds later, as McKendrick made both of her free throw attempts after being fouled by Massachusetts freshman Kymber Hill.

Timbilla brought the Minutewomen up again on a free throw chance, but with only one point separating the teams, Agboola netted a layup with 4:11 remaining and, after being fouled by Hill, got the and-one to put BU ahead 60-58.

McKendrick fouled Pierre-Louis 20 seconds later, and the UMass forward netted both of her attempts to tie the game. Pierre-Louis would get another free throw opportunity and potted that one as well to give her team a one-point lead with 3:24 remaining. Callahan brought the Terriers even with their cross-state opponents on a free throw of her own, while Turner once again gave BU the lead, 62-61, thanks to a made free throw.

A layup from Mital put the Minutewomen ahead 63-62 with 2:01 left in the game, but Callahan answered with a layup and retook the lead for the Terriers. Agboola added another layup with 30 seconds remaining bringing the score to 66-63.

BU held on for the remainder of the game and picked up the well-deserved win, making the two-hour trip back to Boston a whole lot shorter.

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