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Offensive struggles lead to 2 straight losses for women’s basketball

Despite trying inch back into the top of the Patriot League standings, the Boston University women’s basketball team has struggled the past few games, dropping three of the last four and back-to-back contests.

The Terriers (8-15, 3-7 Patriot League) faced the top-three teams in the Patriot League in each loss, but it is the little things, namely the offense, that are plaguing the Terriers.

“It just seems at the end of each game there are a lot of little things that we let happen,” said BU coach Kelly Greenberg. “At the time it’s not big deal because it’s one thing, but by the time you get to the end of the game there’s 14 of them.”

The team has been reliant on the play of senior forward Rashidat Agboola, and with her struggles in the past few contests, the team as a whole has suffered.

After having a dominant stretch, including a 25-point game and gaining her 1,000th career point, Agboola has only a combined 20 points in the past two contests.

With Agboola’s less-than-characteristic shooting and the rest of the team struggling for baskets, BU shot 30.2 percent from the field against an excellent defense in a 72-45 loss to the U.S. Military Academy.

“We’re pretty pleased with the sharing of the ball, getting good looks and in transition as well, we just hit scoring droughts,” Greenberg said. “We’ll go six minutes without knocking down a field goal and that’s tough.”

That drought continued in a 67-54 to Lehigh University, a game in which BU converted only 32.1 percent of its shots from the field.

While the BU had few games of strong offense during a 2-1 stretch in January, the low shooting percentage this season has been a consistent problem, as the Terriers rank ninth in the Patriot League in both scoring offense and field goal percentage.

“Frustration sets in and soon you start battling that as well,” Greenberg said. “When we need someone to stop the drought it just doesn’t happen for periods of time.”

 

Freshmen check in

 

The 2013-14 campaign has seen the transition of the women’s basketball program from top guards Chantell Alford and Mo Moran to younger, less established players.

Freshman guards Sarah Hope and Courtney Latham and forward Meghan Green have all contributed more to the team as the season has progressed.

“They’re doing a lot of good things,” Greenberg said of the underclassmen. “Meghan and Courtney didn’t really play a lot last game, but they have to play in more minutes.”

Latham and Hope have started eight and 15 games, respectively, while Green was named Patriot League Rookie of the Week Dec. 30 and then followed up that performance with a double-double effort against the College of the Holy Cross Jan. 2.

“Sarah is one of those players that we feel can miss the first three [shots] and make the fourth,” Greenberg said. “She’s always ready to make that fourth shot and knock it down and that’s something we really like about her.”

Scoring is not the only dimension of the game that the freshmen bring to the table, as Hope is second on the team behind senior guard Danielle Callahan in the assist category.

The ability for Hope to find her teammates will be essential to the Terrier offense, especially filling the hole that Callahan will leave when she graduates after this season.

“All three of them have of them have a really good presence on the court and we’ve been happy with them,” Greenberg said.

 

Strong team morale

 

When going through a trying season such as the Terriers are going through in 2013-14, it is important for the team morale to stay high, something that Greenberg said team prides itself on.

“I’ve been very, very pleased with our team morale,” Greenberg said. “We certainly communicate a lot between the coaching staff and our players. It’s important that people don’t get down on themselves or others as we continue league play.”

Transitioning from the America East Conference to the Patriot League was something the Terriers knew would be a challenge coming into the season.  BU has still struggled to adjust with their new adversaries, sitting tied for seventh in the league standings with a 3-7 record.

While they are in the bottom half of the conference, Greenberg said she is still hopeful for the rest of the season.

“We just got to plug away and stick together and good things will happen.”

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