Wednesday, April 23, 2014
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BU women’s basketball prepares for matchup with Boston College

MICHELLE JAY/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF Senior guard Danielle Callahan has averaged 11 points in nine games so far this season.

MICHELLE JAY/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Senior guard Danielle Callahan has averaged 11 points in nine games so far this season.

The Boston University women’s basketball team will take on rival Boston College Wednesday in Chestnut Hill.

The Terriers (3-6) will look to build on their last game, a 66-63 win against the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

In their last five meetings against, BC (4-5) has 3-2 record over the Terriers, including a win over BU in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament during the 2008-09 campaign. In 2012’s edition, the Terriers came out on top in their opening game of the season, defeating the Eagles by a 52-46 margin, giving BU coach Kelly Greenberg her 150th win with the Terriers.

Although they have lost six of their first nine games, senior forward Rashidat Agboola has been a driving force for the Terriers this season. In the last two games, Agboola anchored the BU offense, dropping 21 and 16 points, respectively. She has led BU in scoring average this season, putting up 11.3 per game. Senior guard Danielle Callahan has been a consistent scorer as well, averaging 11 points through the first nine contests. She has also hit more 3-pointers than anyone else on the team with 16, good for 37.2 percent from behind the arc.

The senior is not only one of the leading scorers, but also is first on the team in assists with 38, which is 21 more than the next player in that category. Especially after switching from the shooting guard to the point position, Greenberg said she is pleased with Callahan’s performance.

“Danielle’s been doing great,” Greenberg said. “Her transition into point guard has been great and she’s playing a lot of minutes for us. She’s leading our team with team huddles and calming us down on both ends of the court. I’m really happy about Danielle’s progress … [Callahan] has been really good with holding onto the ball this season.”

Not only have the seniors provided strong play and leadership on the court, but the freshmen have also been coming together through the middle part of the season.

Freshman guards Sarah Hope and Courtney Latham have been solid in their action in the early part of the year. Although the two have each averaged fewer than 25 minutes per game, they have combined for 22 assists this season and they are both averaging 4.8 points per game.

“I feel like [the freshmen] are really playing well,” Greenberg said. “Both of our freshman guards are continuing to progress and I’m real happy about that … I think that [Hope] has been getting stronger with each game and all the young players have been having really good seasons.”

While Callahan and Agboola have been solid this year and the freshmen are continuing to improve, the Terriers are going to need a stronger team effort to succeed on the offensive side of the ball. BU ranks toward the bottom in nearly every offensive category in the Patriot League, including team scoring.

The Terriers have also struggled on the defensive side, allowing the third most points per game in the Patriot League.  This is one of the reasons why the Terriers have a scoring margin of -8.9, the bottom spot in the conference.

Although the Terriers have strong rebounders in Agboola who is 10th in the league in rebounding with 7.1 per game, and senior forward Whitney Turner is 12th, the rest of the team has not been able to grab a sufficient amount of rebounds. BU is ranked ninth in the league in offensive rebounding, and 10th on the defensive end.

Along with senior Kristen Doherty, the rest of the Eagles have stood tall near the glass, grabbing 340 rebounds thus far. BC has four players that have averaged at least 4.0 rebounds or more per game, something that could pose a problem for the undersized Terriers.

Greenberg said she is aware of the challenge that the Eagles of the Atlantic Coast Conference present, especially since BC has a size advantage over the Terriers at almost every spot on the floor.

“We are aware that they a lot bigger than us at every position,” Greenberg said. “However, we know what their strengths are and we are very focused and wanting to win.”

Doherty and guard Nicole Boudreau have led BC’s offense. Doherty is averaging 14.2 points per contest, as well as owning the team lead in rebounds with 56.

Boudreau has been a stalwart on the offensive end as well and is the only other Eagle averaging double-digit points per game with 11.3. She is also tied for second on the team in assists with 22.

The Eagles have allowed more points per game this year than the Terriers have, but they have a 1.4-point scoring differential, thanks to their strong offensive play. BC has a balanced offense, and has four players averaging at least nine points per game.

Greenberg said she knows of the gravity of the game and is ready to take on BU’s Commonwealth Avenue rival.

“It’s definitely a big game for us,” Greenberg said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

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