Junior forward Mollie McKendrick may have turned a corner in her third year on the Boston University women’s basketball team.
McKendrick set a career high in points with 18 on Wednesday night against American University in a 63-56 loss, part of her double-double effort.
Last year on a 24-win Terrier team that included guards Chantell Alford and Mo Moran, McKendrick took the role as a player coming off of the bench, and averaged just over 10 minutes of playing time. She did help in the paint, grabbing 2.4 rebounds per contest, but she put in just 2.4 points a game.
During the 2013-14 season, however, the Mildura, Australia native is averaging career highs in all major categories including minutes and points with 22.6 and 8.2, respectively.
The junior’s start against American (13-5, 6-1 Patriot League) was her second time in row being tabbed for the starting lineup, as the Terrier look to take advantage of her offensive firepower and size on the inside.
She had missed six games earlier in the season due to a high ankle sprain, but McKendrick said she feels healthy heading into BU’s (7-13, 2-5 Patriot League) crucial stretch run of games.
“I’m fine, I’m fully back,” McKendrick said about her health. “Just trying to get back to the swing of the game again.”
The first-ever BU women’s basketball recruit from Australia has had her share of big games this season for the Terriers, providing a spark either off the bench or more recently in the starting lineup.
Previously, BU coach Kelly Greenberg said McKendrick was “A good offensive threat and a heck of a rebounder,” and has only continued her praise.
“Mollie was out for a while, but I think before her injury she was progressing quite nicely for us,” Greenberg said. “Into the [Boston College] game and even in the BC game she was doing some nice things and it’s really nice to have her back.”
Prior to hurting her ankle during a game Dec. 11 against BC (11-8), McKendrick had produced five games of double-digit scoring, including three where she scored 14 points. Most of those performances came off of the bench, save for her start against Loyola University-Maryland.
Throughout that stretch of games, McKendrick was a vital part of the Terriers’ offense, supplementing senior forward Rashidat Agboola inside the paint.
Not only has McKendrick been scoring at strong clip lately, but she is also one of the Terriers’ leading rebounders. When she is inside the painted area, she is always scrapping for rebounds, and it shows on the stat sheet. She is averaging 6.6 boards per game, second on the team right behind Agboola’s 7.3 per game.
McKendrick recorded her first career double-double Nov. 24 against Monmouth University when she recorded 16 points and 14 rebounds in the 52-43 win.
McKendrick’s rebounding was at the forefront again, and proved to be essential Wednesday night at Case Gymasium. She grabbed 11 boards to go along with her 18 points, making it her second double-double of the year.
“She rebounded extremely well for us, Mollie’s done good stuff for us,” Greenberg said about McKendrick’s ability on the glass. “Unfortunately no one else really rebounded tonight.”
While McKendrick put in one of her best performances in the scarlet and white, the team as a whole did fall to the Eagles, however. She said the Terriers had the tools to beat the Eagles, a team currently holding on to second spot in the Patriot League standings, but as a whole need to do more to prepare for the next game.
“We have some positives out of it, but a loss is a loss and we have to regroup and we have another tough game coming up,” McKendrick said.
Despite having a career year on the offensive end and continued excellence in the rebounding department, McKendrick said there is more to her game that she needs to improve on, including her defensive play.
“There’s lots I need to work on, defensively,” McKendrick said. “I’m still trying to get used to some plays and sometimes I make poor decisions on the defensive end so far me it is all about the defense … Every day there is more I can do to get better.”