The Boston University women’s basketball hosted Bucknell University Saturday afternoon at Case Gymnasium, coming away with an impressive 86-58 victory over the Bison.
The Terriers’ (8-13, 3-5 Patriot League) offensive outburst was only part of the story though, as senior forward Rashidat Agboola became the 22nd player in BU women’s basketball history to eclipse the 1,000-point mark for her career at BU. The Bison (10-8, 5-3 Patriot League) defense seemed to have no answer for the inspired forward.
The Terriers and Agboola took care of business right from the opening whistle, starting the game on a 15-4 run. Agboola came out firing on all cylinders and ended up scoring a season- and game-high 25 points. With a layup just under four minutes into the first half, she officially entered the 1,000-point club. The forward went a perfect 8-for-8 from the field and finished 9-for-11 from the free-throw line. She also added five rebounds, four blocks, three assists and two steals.
Despite a 6-0 run by Bucknell to cut the BU lead to 15-10 with 13:17 remaining in the half, the Terriers held tough, extending their lead back up to double-digits with 8:50 left in the half when senior forward Whitney Turner sunk a pair of free throws.
The Bison would not go away, however, as two free-throw makes from forward Audrey Dotson cut the Terrier lead to just six points at the 7:03mark in the half.
With 28 seconds remaining in the frame, junior forward Mollie McKendrick hit a jumper to extend the Terriers’ lead to 15 points, their largest of the game at that point. Bison guard Shelby Romine answered with a 3-pointer to end the half, though, and BU went into the break leading by a score of 38-26.
The two teams came out of the halftime break appearing refreshed and began to trade buckets. The Bison continued to fight and cut the Terrier lead to just five points, capped off by a trey ball from Dotson.
Although the Bison got close multiple times, senior guard Danielle Callahan seemed to have an answer for every Bucknell run, with both of her 3-pointers coming when Bucknell was within range of tying the score.
The senior finished the game with 10 points and 10 assists, good enough for her second double-double of the season. Ball movement was a point of focus for not only Callahan but for BU as a whole, with the Terriers having 25 assists to the Bison’s nine.
“It’s always an emphasis,” said BU coach Kelly Greenberg about the team’s ball movement. “I mean, I am not a coach who wants one person taking all of our shots, I’ve never been a coach who does that, even when we have a superstar. I like to share the ball, whoever is open should be taking it, we like the most open shot, the easier shot.”
The Bison made one last push with 9:13 to go in game, trying to keep the score close. Dotson made a layup to cut the Terriers’ lead to just 10 points, forcing a BU timeout. Greenberg helped her team become composed, and the Terriers outscored the Bison 22-4 for the rest of the game, cruising to an 86-58 win.
Not only did the Terriers contain Bucknell to just 56 points and nine assists, but also held the Bison to shoot just 30.9 percent from the field, nearly 10 percent less than their season average. Although Bucknell had two scorers in double figures, no other Bison player had more than five points.
Greenberg said the defense played just as much as part of the game as the offense, and was a key in the victory.
“I just think our defense was just great from the get-go,” Greenberg said. “They have two forwards in Dotson and [Claire] DeBoer who really score a lot of points every game, and, you know, our goal was ‘let’s really be a team defense, were not going to double, let’s just really be crowding the lane,’ and we just played with really good intensity. I could feel it, I don’t know if people in the gym could feel it, but our intensity on defense just seemed really on by everyone who got in the game and it really was the difference in the game.”