The Boston University women’s basketball team struggled to find an offensive rhythm early in the season. Although a problem early in the year, the Terrier offense has thrived in recent games due to the play of senior forward Rashidat Agboola.
In BU’s (8-13, 3-5 Patriot League) previous game, a victory over Bucknell University, Agboola recorded a season-high 25 points, which put her over 1,000 total points for her career with the Terriers. Her effort in the game helped the Terriers reach a season-high 86 points in the win at Case Gymnasium.
Following the strong performance, Agboola received an honorable mention for Patriot League Player of the Week.
The Methuen native has been a powerful force on offense, but she has also become a leader on the court.
“Rashidat’s level of intensity, focus and just her overall presence has been very consistent for us,” said BU coach Kelly Greenberg. “That’s what we were looking for in her, and we’re glad that it’s here.”
Saturday afternoon, the Bison (10-8, 5-3 Patriot League) did not have an answer for the senior. Agboola hit almost every shot she took, going 8-for-8 from the field and a nearly perfect 9-of-11 from the charity stripe.
“The way Bucknell was playing us they were not doubling Rashidat like a lot of the other teams have the past several weeks,” Greenberg. “So it was nice for Rashidat to go 1-on-1 in the post and obviously with her numbers, she took care of business with that.”
Heading into the final stretch of 10 games, the Terriers sit in the seventh spot out of 10 teams in the Patriot League standings.
BU’s next set of games should prove to be trying, as it has to play the top four teams in the Patriot League, including two games against the second place U.S. Military Academy.
Despite the challenges, however, Greenberg said her team is focused on taking the schedule one game at a time, not looking toward the conference standings.
“I’m going to be really honest with you, I don’t even know the league rankings right now,” Greenberg said.
With this being the first year in the Patriot League for BU, the Terriers have had to adjust to facing new opponents, new players and a new style of play which is difficult for a young team such as BU.
“Our coaches are really excited about the second half of league play,” Greenberg said. “Now that our players have seen everyone, there’s a little bit more of familiarity with who’s who and who does what so we’re excited about it.”
Defense staying strong
Even with the offensive inconsistencies throughout the early part of the season, BU has been able to rely on its defense, which has held opponents to 63 points or less in the last three games.
“It was really nice to score 86 points but I think it had a lot to do with our defense,” Greenberg said. “We were really helping each other, taking away penetration lanes, so I’m very happy with our defense and the direction that we’re moving in.”
The Terriers have also been very good at generating opponent turnovers, ranking second in the Patriot League in turnovers forced with 297 total for the season, good for an average of 14.7 per contest. The last time BU did not force double-digit turnovers was in a Nov. 22 game against the No. 1 University of Connecticut.
Much of the success on defense is due to BU’s scheme to create pressure.
“We’ve been playing man-to-man and we’ve been pretty solid so we just have to keep doing that,” Greenberg said.
With the defense holding its own and the offense making strides, the Terriers are ready to take on the rest of their conference schedule, something that Greenberg said she believes the team is ready for.
“Now that we’re in the thick of things in the Patriot League, we’re settling down,” Greenberg said. “Early on, not to make any excuses, but the opponents were so new it was like playing non-conference games and I think we’re more prepared now.”