The Boston University women’s basketball team, losers of its last two contests, will look to get back in the win column Wednesday night against a Patriot League foe in the U. S. Naval Academy.
The Terriers (8-15, 3-7 Patriot League) will be taking on the Midshipmen (17-4, 9-1 Patriot League) at Case Gymnasium, where they will try to capture just their fourth home win of the season. Getting back on track will be a tough task though, as Navy sits atop the Patriot League standings.
“What I see the most about them is that they’re very experienced,” Greenberg said of the Midshipmen. “They have four senior starters who have been starting together for four years. When you watch them play you can just see that these players have been playing together for a long time.”
The Midshipmen are coming off a one-point loss to Lafayette College, which came on the heels of a season-high 10-game winning streak. The loss served as the team’s first defeat in the conference.
Senior Jade Geif led the way for the Midshipmen in the last contest, notching 20 points and seven rebounds in the loss. Leading scorer and senior Kara Pollinger was held to a season-low eight points but dished out a career-high nine assists.
Pollinger is averaging 14.4 points a game, good for seventh in the Patriot League. The majority of her scoring comes from behind the arc, as she leads the league in both 3-point field goals made (62) and 3-point field goal percentage (48 percent).
“It’s a tough task because [Navy is] also very good at putting it on the floor and finding ways to get to the basket, and their center in the middle, Jade Geif, is their best player,” Greenberg said of the offense. “If you just focus on taking away the three they will beat you in other areas.”
BU is coming off a 13-point loss to Lehigh University. The Terriers have been in a slump the past few games, losing three of their last four contests. Despite the struggles, senior guard Danielle Callahan has continued to put up strong stats.
In their loss against the Mountain Hawks (10-11, 3-7 Patriot League), Callahan scored 19 points and recorded seven assists. Not only is she 18th in the Patriot League in scoring at 10.6 points per game, but Callahan also is second in assists, averaging 5.2 per contest.
In a transition season for the Terriers, Callahan has been a consistent force on the court that the younger players can look up to.
“Every game she seems to get better in some way and she’s been our most consistent player which is great to have from the point guard position,” Greenberg said about the senior. “The only thing I wish we could do more for her is get her more shots since she is so efficient.
Most of Callahan’s points come from beyond the arc, which may be a problem against Navy, since the Midshipmen have held opponents to shoot just 28 percent 3-point field range, good for first in the Patriot League in that category.
Not only do the Midshipmen defend the 3-pointer well, they also shoot it at an alarmingly effective rate at the offensive end. They are second in the conference in 3-point field goal percentage (38 percent) and they lead the league in three pointers made (194). Navy boasts three players in the top 15 of the league in both 3-point field goal percentage and 3-pointers made, with Pollinger leading both categories.
“If they hit a couple threes then that’s fine, but let’s make sure they don’t hit a lot of threes and then same thing on the inside and keep it balanced,” Greenberg said.
With Navy being the top team in the conference, a win could give BU some momentum for the rest of the season. If the Terriers could pull out a win, it would go a long way for the team’s confidence, something of which Greenberg said she is aware.
“It would certainly do a lot [for confidence] and our team does think we can win any game,” Greenberg said. “We have a lot of respect for Navy and we know they’ve won the league the last couple of years and its evident why, but it’s more than doable for us.”