Four days after being on the receiving end of an early first-half drubbing, the Boston University women’s basketball team redeemed itself by delivering a dominant first half performance Wednesday night at Case Gymnasium.
After failing to score until eight minutes into last Saturday’s game against the University at Albany, the Terriers (21-7, 14-1 America East) held the University of Maryland-Baltimore County Retrievers to zero points until just more than 13 minutes remained in the first half. BU would maintained the lead for the entire game, ultimately coming away with a 61-56 victory.
The Terriers dominated play the first seven minutes of the contest, as they started out on a 10-0 run. Sophomore forward Rashidat Agboola scored the first four of these points, as well as the last two. These six points framed four points from junior guard Mo Moran, which came from a couple of free throws and one athletic layup in the lane.
Agboola used a vast arsenal of post moves to put up 10 points from the field along with three successful free throws in the first half alone. As halftime drew near, the Retrievers (14-14, 8-7 America East) began to figure out Agboola’s game in the paint and subsequently forced her off the block.
However, drawing confidence from a 12-point lead at the half, the 6-foot-1 center re-established herself early in the second half.
“I just tried to take my time in the post,” Agboola said. “[Taking] open shots if I had them – not forcing anything.”
At the game’s end, Agboola would earn yet another double-double, as she scored a career-high 24 points on top of 11 rebounds.
Moran was essential in assisting many of Agboola’s buckets from down low, whether she was lofting passes over the top or threading the needle through multiple defenders. She finished with a game-high 10 assists, and missed a double-double of her own by a single digit, scoring nine points.
“Our one run in the first half was huge for us,” said BU coach Kelly Greenberg. “I really think that run for us was due to Rashidat and Mo. I thought Mo was really setting [Agboola] up . . . and Rashidat really took care of business inside.”
The Moran-Agboola tandem was well supported by the remainder of the starting squad, which contributed 28 points to the victorious effort.
Senior forward Caroline Stewart had a successful night, also one number shy of a double-double with 13 points and nine rebounds. Stewart also nailed a couple of 3-pointers on the night, thus rising her season total to three.
Junior guard Chantell Alford reached double-digits (10 points) as well, shooting 2-for-4 from beyond the arc and a perfect 4-for-4 from the charity stripe.
UMBC made several frightening comeback attempts, including a 12-point run towards the beginning of the second half. The Retrievers closed the lead to just four points on multiple occasions, but the Terriers’ tight zone defense prevented any lead-changes. BU’s consistent scoring even allowed for the lead to grow to 17 points at its peak.
In the closing seconds of the match, one of UMBC’s second-string guards hit a difficult runner to bring the BU lead down to three points. The success of the ensuing inbound pass forced a Retriever to foul Alford, who proceeded to ice the game by coolly sinking both of her free throws at the opposite end.
“I thought we did a wonderful job on their two best players,” Greenberg said. “It was a couple of the others who started hurting us . . . What we were really trying to take away, we did a nice job of.”