Basketball, NCAA, Sports

Women’s basketball looks to remain undefeated in conference

The Boston University women’s basketball team will continue to work solidifying its place atop America East when they face the University of New Hampshire at Case Gymnasium on Thursday night.

RACHAEL CORTELLESSA/DFP STAFF Junior guard Chantell Alford leads the team with 12.2 points per game.

After delivering now second-place University at Albany its first loss in conference play on Monday night the Terriers (12-6, 5-0, America East) are now the only team in America East without a conference loss. The team will try to keep the streak, as well as this season’s undefeated streak at home, intact with a victory over the Wildcats (10-7, 3-2, America East).

“It feels good. I think our players are feeling like we keep moving forward,” said BU coach Kelly Greenberg. “The level of comfort is very good. In our mind we’ve just been talking about numbers of games. Not standings. Let’s just make sure we’re more prepared.”

The Terriers’ win against Albany was the first time they failed to score more than 60 points against a conference opponent. This strong offensive performance has played a large role in the Terriers’ continuing success in America East.

BU holds an overall advantage over the Wildcats, having won 35 of the teams’ 64 match-ups since 1978. This advantage has been especially prevalent in recent years, as the Terriers have won 16 of the teams’ last 20 games. In their final matchup last season, the Terriers defeated the Wildcats 66-59 in Durham.

UNH has won its last two games, defeating the University of Vermont and Stony Brook University to bring its conference record up to 3-2. With a 3-point field goal percentage of .351 and a free throw percentage of .737, UNH tops the America East in both categories.

In their last win over Stony Brook on Monday, the Wildcats had a 47.1 field goal percentage in the game, making 24-51 from the field. Forward Denise Beliveau, whose 19 points were a game high, played a key role in the Wildcats’ victory.

“We have to be ready for their post play. Beliveau can score in a lot of ways and is an aggressive rebounder,” Greenberg said. “We really have to be ready for their unique style of play.”

UNH averages 36.5 rebounds per game, a number only slightly smaller than BU’s 37.3 rebounds per game. All season the Terriers have struggled with picking up rebounds, and their opponents have averaged 40.7 rebounds per game against them.

Wildcat junior Morgan Frame, whose average of 17.7 points per game is a team high, leads UNH’s offense. Beliveau is a close second with an average of 13.6 points per game and a team best 9.0 rebounds per game.

The Terriers average 58.9 points per game, narrowly edging out the 55.6 points their opponents have averaged against them. Junior guard Chantell Alford leads the team with 12.2 points-per-game.

According to Greenberg the Terriers have focused on team basketball in their last few practices.

“[We are trying to] just keep getting better at team basketball and rebounding,” Greenberg said.

Fellow junior guard Mo Moran follows Alford with 11.2 points per game, and together with senior guard Alex Young, sophomore forward Rashidat Agboola, and senior forward Caroline Stewart, they amount for just under 85 percent of BU’s points.

“On the offensive end we’ve been very balanced,” Greenberg said. “Every game there is a different leading scorer.”

A win on Thursday night would bring the Terriers to 6-0 in their conference before facing defending America East champion Hartford on Sunday, playing at home once again.

With the momentum they have gathered, the Terriers look to continue their dominant play in America East.

“We can’t be happy with where we are,” Greenberg said. We’ve done a lot of things, but we can continue to get better. Continuing to talk is very important. We can get better every day.”

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