Splitting its last six games, the Boston University women’s basketball team will look to secure a victory against Patriot League leader American University Wednesday night.
The Terriers (8-8, 3-3 Patriot League) have had a consistent season, never straying too far from the .500 percent mark.
BU head coach Katy Steding notes that her team needs to do the little things to win some of the close games her team has been in.
“The nice thing about us this year is that we’ve been in every game,” Steding said. “It demonstrates to the girls that we can play with anybody in the league. But, we have to be sure that we take care of the little things to be up in the end of the game rather than coming from behind.”
In its most recent matchup, BU fell to the College of the Holy Cross (8-9, 3-3 Patriot League) in a tightly contested matchup that left the Terriers and Crusaders tied with Lafayette College for the No. 5 spot in the Patriot League standings. Despite leading by six at halftime, the Terriers fell behind in the second half, ultimately losing 60-57.
BU was led by sophomore forward Nia Irving, who led the team in points with 21, while only logging 25 minutes and not starting the game. Irving also led the team in rebounds with eight.
The Fairfield, Maine native leads the team in scoring, averaging 11.8 points per game, despite only starting seven games and playing as a substitute in the rest.
While the Terriers have received the bulk of production from returning players, it is freshman guard Katie Nelson that is leading the team in minutes per game (35.5) and three-point field goals made (34).
Nelson has been a welcome addition for BU, starting every game this season and scoring the second highest amount of points per game (10.7).
The Falmouth native ranks No. 4 in the Patriot League in three-point field goals made per game and has received two Rookie of the Week honors from the Patriot League.
Steding notices things in Nelson that separate her from the competition.
“From a physical standpoint she’s a good scorer, she sees the floor extremely well and she has a good handle on the game,” Steding said. “But it’s her mental game that makes her really special and that’s what is going to help her grow and blow by other players in other programs.”
When the Terriers take on the Eagles (13-4, 6-0 Patriot League), it will be their toughest league matchup to date. However, BU will find itself with an opportunity to ruin American’s perfect Patriot League season.
American is led by senior guard Emily Kinneston who leads the team in points per game (13.9) and minutes per game (33.6). The Shelburne, Vermont native has won Patriot League Player of the Week honors once earlier this season, currently guiding her team in the midst of a seven-game win streak.
In addition to Kinneston, the Terriers will be tasked with penetrating the Eagles’ suffocating defense. American ranks second in the Patriot League, allowing 59.2 points per game, and lead the Patriot League in allowing, with only 34.8 percent of shots taken against them.
Steding believes that giving maximum effort and fighting for every lost ball is the only way to compete with a team of the Eagles’ caliber.
“We really need to do a good job of contesting them on every possession and competing with them for 40 minutes,” Steding said. “With a team like American who is really disciplined and alert and active all the time, we can’t take a possession off.”