Senior co-captain Jesyka Burks-Wiley became the eighth player in Boston University women’s basketball history to record 1,000 points and 500 rebounds in her career as BU administered an 87-72 beating to the University of Maine at Alfond Arena on Saturday.
Burks-Wiley notched her fifth double-double of the season with a career-high 32 points to go along with 13 rebounds. She shot 9-of-15 from the field and cashed in on 14-of-15 from the free-throw line.
‘[Burks-Wiley] has always had a great ability to score,’ BU coach Kelly Greenberg said. ‘Now she’s just recognizing how people are playing her and going to where they’re not, and she’s doing it extremely well. I really think experience has gotten her to where she is right now.
‘She’s in the best shape of her life and that’s made a difference for her. We don’t have to take her out as much and she doesn’t rest and she’s getting a lot of rebounds because she’s not resting.’
Freshman guard Alex Young had the best statistical performance of her career with 10 points and three boards. Young went 2-of-2 from beyond the arc in her 18 minutes of playing time.
‘[Young] is a terrific scorer,’ Greenberg said. ‘She can really score in different ways. She battles Dini as our best 3-point shooter. She can really shoot it. And she can put it on the floor and do some great things with the ball. She’s getting more and more comfortable. Her knee is getting stronger. She had surgery last January and I think that kind of slowed her up since the fall.” ‘
The Terriers (12-6, 6-0 America East) remain unbeaten in league action and now boast a seven-game winning streak. Saturday’s victory was their first in Orono since the 2000-01 season.
BU was coming off of an emotionally charged victory over rival the University of Hartford, but was careful not to overlook the lowly Black Bears (2-17, 0-6). The strong game had raised the squad’s profile, generating a flood of awards and online acknowledgement.
‘You really worry about the games that we call ‘internet games,” Greenberg said. ‘The girls are online, and they’re seeing what their record is and who’s scoring what and you hate all that because you still have to play the game. Any game on the road is going to be tough.’
The Terriers jumped out to a 9-0 lead just two minutes into the game. Five of those nine points came courtesy of senior guard Kristi Dini (19 points). Dini went 4-of-11 from 3-point territory and racked up 13 points in the first half.
‘As soon as you start saying ‘Dini’s hot, get it to the 3′ we become so single-focused that it gets us out of our game,’ Greenberg said. ‘We just stick with what we’re doing and if they happen to get another open shot, great.’
Another Dini 3-pointer five minutes into the game opened up an 18-6 lead. The Black Bears never came within 12 points of the Terriers the rest of the way.
Burks-Wiley scored 12 points in the final seven minutes of the first half, sending BU into the break with its largest lead of the game, 46-25.
The Black Bears made two big runs in the second half, but the Terriers answered each time.
Maine outscored BU, 11-4, in the first 3 minutes of the second half, cutting the lead to 50-36. Dini helped to end that run by nailing another 3-ball at 15:57.
Halfway through the second frame, Maine went on an 11-0 run, holding the Terrier offense scoreless for five minutes and cutting the lead to 12.
Burks-Wiley crushed Maine’s hopes of a comeback when she converted a 3-point play at 9:05 after she was fouled on a layup.
The Black Bears failed to pull within 13 points over the final nine minutes, as the Terrier offense woke up to the tune of 22 points in that span.