The Boston University women’s basketball team might be starting its season bruised and battered, but even with a bit of a limp, the Terriers managed to start their 2008-09 season well with a 50-45 win Friday at the University of Rhode Island.
Led by early 3-pointers from senior Kristi Dini (six points, two assists), BU (1-0) jumped out to a 13-4 lead at 13:04 of the first half. The teams exchanged baskets through the middle part of the stanza until the Terrier defense upped its game, holding the Rams (0-1) scoreless through the first half’s final 5:22. BU forced five turnovers during the stretch, and entered the half with a convincing 30-19 lead.
‘I would say it was a defensive game all-around ‘-‘- not a whole lot of scoring,’ BU coach Kelly Greenberg said. ‘I thought there were times ‘-‘- mostly at the end of both halves ‘-‘- where we played great team defense. We were really sharp at helping each other out ‘-‘- recognizing the open girl and getting there to help out.’
The teams began exchanging buckets at the on-set of the second half and, after sophomore Kerry Cashman dropped in a layup with 11:25 left in regulation, BU held a 10-point lead, 38-28.
Unfortunately for the Terriers, it would be another 4:43 before the squad knocked down its next field goal, a stretch during which BU missed six consecutive shots. When Burks-Wiley finally made a basket with 6:42 left to snap the cold streak, the Terriers trailed 43-40, ending a 15-0 run by the Rams.
‘We couldn’t buy a basket [over the 4:43 stretch] and our transition [defense] ‘-‘- I would say they scored almost 80 percent of their points off transition,’ Greenberg said.
Twenty-eight seconds after Burks-Wiley halted URI’s run, senior point guard and co-captain Christine Kinneary tossed in a layup to bring the score to 43-42 URI. Both teams were held scoreless over the next 2:18 until Burks-Wiley went to the line with 3:46 left on the clock. The 6-foot-1 senior knocked down both attempts from the charity stripe, putting BU up, 44-43.
URI junior Lindsay Harris responded with a layup on URI’s next possession, but on BU’s next turn down the court, junior Amarachi Umez-Eronini drew a foul and toed the line for a one-and-one. The Washington, D.C., native knocked down both shots, putting BU up 46-45. Three minutes, a few big defensive stops and some made free-throws later, the Terriers had their first victory of the year.
The win was a positive step for a Terrier squad struggling to stay healthy. Junior forward Maggie McKemie, a transfer from Furman University who was expected to play a major role in the BU offense, will be out about five weeks, according to Greenberg’ junior forward Aly Hinton, coming off two off-season knee surgeries, was optimistically listed as day-to-day heading into the season’s commencement.
Hinton’s playing was limited Friday. She saw about 16 minutes of action but still left her mark, pulling in six rebounds while recording four points and two assists.
‘We didn’t expect her to play that much,’ Greenberg said of the 6-foot-1 Richboro, Pa., native. ‘We really felt like we had to go to her because she really stabilizes us on both ends of the floor. Even though it was a very up-and-down game, and that’s not her thing right now because of the injury. She came in, rebounded and played very solid.’