BU’s first half deficit proves insurmountable

It was a tale of two halves for the offense of the Boston University women’s basketball team Wednesday night.

The first half yielded uncharacteristic turnovers, poor decision-making and a 16-point deficit at halftime. The second half, however, showcased the Terriers’ (16–4, 6–1 America East) explosive and tenacious style of play that most have become accustomed to seeing from the team.

Unfortunately for the Terriers, despite a valiant comeback in the final minutes of the game, the deficit caused in part by poor offensive execution in the first half proved to be too much to overcome. BU fell to the University at Albany 57–50 at Case Gym.

“I thought the difference in the game was just that in the first half we were out of whack a little bit offensively,” said BU coach Kelly Greenberg. “We got good looks, we just weren’t knocking down shots.”

The Terriers were held to just 17 points in the first half — their lowest first-half total of the season — going 5-of-21 (23.8 percent) from the field. Their shots from beyond the arc — a staple of the Terriers’ offense so far this season — were also neutralized in the first half, as the team only hit 3-of-11 3-point attempts (27.3 percent).

While BU’s stellar defense was able to keep the contest close in the opening minutes of the game, a scoring drought that lasted almost seven minutes gave Albany (15–3, 6–0 America East) its chance to build a lead. By the time the Terriers finally made a field goal on a 3-pointer by senior guard Chantell Alford, Albany was up 22–14.

“We did great things defensively, but scoring 17 points — being stuck on 10 points for a while — obviously we were struggling,” Greenberg said.

One of the primary factors in the Terriers’ first-half offensive struggles was turnovers. Due to Albany’s aggressive press defense, as well as uncharacteristic mental errors, BU ended the first half with 14 turnovers. Albany made sure that the Terriers would pay for their mistakes, as it scored 10 first-half points off turnovers.

“As I told my team at halftime, we had 14 turnovers, which is extremely uncharacteristic,” Greenberg said. “A lot of them were unforced. We were trying to do some things that we really did not need to do at the time. Maybe it was [Albany’s] defense … but we did it to ourselves as well.”

In the second half, despite being down by 23 points at its lowest point, BU was able to come within three of the lead with 4:30 remaining in the game. While the Terriers ultimately were unable to pull off the incredible comeback, the team’s play was greatly improved from the first half.

The Terriers scored 33 points in the final frame, 16 more than they did in the first half. The improvement was largely due to better shot decisions, limited turnovers and advantageous offense resulting from Albany turnovers.

The Terriers were not perfect shooting the ball, but had a higher field goal percentage (32.1 percent) than they did in the first half. BU also only had 5 turnovers in the second half, a far cry from the 14 committed in the first.

“I thought in the second half, we were a true BU team out there,” Greenberg said. “We never gave up, we chipped away … we got some stops and rebounds, and were pushing a little bit to make things happen.”

Despite their improved second-half play, the Terriers shot only 28.6 percent (14-of-49) from the field in the game, a season low in field goal percentage.

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