The Boston University women’s basketball team took on American University Wednesday night at Case Gymnasium, falling to the Eagles by a 63-56 margin in a back-and-forth contest.
The Terriers (7-13, 2-6 Patriot League) started out of the gates slowly and trailed early to the Eagles (13-5, 6-1 Patriot League). Despite leading 4-2 just 1:40 into the game, BU eventually found itself down 16-5 when guard Geleisa George drained a jumpshot with 15:13remaining in the half, putting the early momentum in the hands of American.
The Terriers showed grit though, clawing their way back into the game. Freshman guard Sarah Hope buried her first shot of the game, a 3-pointer, coming off an assist from junior forward Mollie McKendrick, cutting the deficit to six points with 7:11 left in the first half of play.
“I thought in the beginning of the game we missed a lot of open shots,” said BU coach Kelly Greenberg on the early stages of the game. “We dug ourselves a hole, but it was really nice to see ourselves slowly climb out of it by doing a lot of pretty good things. I thought our zone helped us there for a while, at the end of the half.”
The two teams continued to trade buckets until halftime, and the Terriers found themselves down by just six points at the halftime break, 29-23. McKendrick led the way for the Terriers, as she filled up the stat sheet with 12 points, two rebounds, two steals and an assist in just the first frame.
Guard Alexis Dobbs stood out for the Eagles, garnering with 12 points, five rebounds, four assists, while recording one steal.
The Terriers came out with energy in the second half, going on an 8-0 run to open up the fram, regaining the lead. The offensive outburst was capped off by a 3-pointer from senior guard Danielle Callahan, her first of the game, to give the Terriers a 31-29 advantage with 18:04 to go in the contest. This was the first time the Terriers had led since the opening minutes of the first half.
“I really think we started playing much better towards the end of the first half,” Greenberg said. “Obviously we got down early, they made every shot early. Chipping away going into the half, I thought we were doing some nice things that we were able to continue it, starting the second half.”
While BU carried a sub-.500 record into the contest, its performance in the second half did not indicate this, as Terriers went toe-to-toe with the second-place Eagles.
With about nine minutes left in the second frame, the two teams traded shots from behind the 3-point arc, but treys from Hope and sophomore guard Clodagh Scannell gave the Terriers the lead. However, both times it was short-lived, with guard Lauren Crisler immediately answering with 3-pointers of her own.
With the teams battling close throughout, the game was tied at 47 points apiece with 8:52 left in the half. Both teams looked to gain a substantial lead but could not, and neither was able to pull away on the scoreboard.
The Terriers did, however, take a slim lead with 4:20 left in the half. A jump shot from senior forward Rashidat Agboola put the Terriers up 52-51. The lead was lost quickly though, as a layup by forward Shaquilla Curtis put the Eagles back up, 53-52, a lead which they would not squander for the remainder of the game.
Although they had stayed with the Eagles for most of the game, the Terriers failed to make another field goal the rest of the game. Coupled with four crucial free-throw makes by Dobbs down the stretch, the victory was sealed for American.
“I expect to win every single game in this conference,” Greenberg said about the loss. “Right now our record isn’t great in this conference, so, you know, it’s not a moral victory for us. We play games to win, we play games to get better and play well, and if we do that, I think we should win every game in this conference.”