The Boston University women’s basketball team got off to a sluggish start out of the gates this season, with five losses in six games. Despite their lackluster opening to the 2013-14 campaign, however, the Terriers seem to have righted the ship over the last week or so.
BU (3-6) has won two out of its last three games and is starting to build momentum going into the winter break. Despite only defeating Monmouth University (Nov. 24) and University of Massachusetts-Amherst by a combined 12 points, BU coach Kelly Greenberg said that she has been encouraged by her team’s progress as the year goes on.
“We knew going into the season we were going to be a work in progress,” Greenberg said. “Our goal was to make sure we don’t get too down about some losses and certainly don’t get too up about any wins, and just to get better, learning from different situations that we’re facing in games, and I really think we have [gotten better].”
Agboola leads way for BU
Senior forward Rashidat Agboola has led the Terriers during their recent upswing. She has been impressive on the boards over the last two games, posting a combined 14 rebounds in those two contests. She put up 16 points on 8-of-9 shooting against Old Dominion University on Dec. 1, while grabbing six rebounds and even adding a block.
Agboola followed that game up with a dominant performance against the Minutewomen (2-7) in Amherst. Agboola scored a game-high 21 points on 50 percent shooting (8-of-16) from the field while also registering eight rebounds and a steal. Not only did the Methuen native dominate on the stat sheet, but she also had the last bucket of the game, scoring a layup to put the Terriers up 66-63 with only 33 seconds left in the game, ultimately sealing the win for BU.
“As a coach, you wonder early on ‘what was going on?” Greenberg said. “She certainly has the drive and the work ethic, and has the experience so, in some of our earlier games when she just wasn’t ‘Rashidat-like,’ you don’t want to talk too much about it. And I think now, after a couple practices two weeks ago, she’s starting to have things falling into place for her.”
McKendrick emerging as a force off the bench
Agboola is not the only person making a mark on this team, as junior forward Mollie McKendrick has also played well over the last three games. In the win against Monmouth (1-7), she led the Terriers off the bench with a team-high 14 points on an efficient 7-of-11 shooting while snatching eight rebounds.
Against Old Dominion (5-4), she recorded her first career double-double with 14 points and a career-high 16 rebounds on the way to being named BU’s Player of the Game.
In their last contest, she extended her double-digit scoring streak to three games, registering 10 points against UMass along with five rebounds. Despite the fact that the Mildura, Australia, native has not started any of BU’s nine games this season, McKendrick is fourth on the team in minutes played (24.9) while posting a line of 9.1 points per game this season, good for third on the team.
“Mollie’s a great scorer for us,” Greenberg said. “She came back in great shape this year, worked hard over the summer, and she plays just as many minutes as [senior forward] Whitney [Turner] and Rashidat, so she’s off the bench but she’s a real big part of what we’re doing on both ends of the floor. I’m really happy for her, and I certainly hope it continues for her because she really deserves it.”