By Sydney Walsh and Amanda Purcell
The Boston University men’s and women’s basketball teams faced College of the Holy Cross Wednesday night. The men’s squad bested the Crusaders 78-69, while the women’s team extended its record to 9-1 with a 71-53 victory.
This was the fifth time this season the Terrier men faced Holy Cross, and with a 2-2 record against the team, BU traveled to Worcester, Massachusetts looking for a win. The Terriers and Crusaders had just faced off the previous weekend, when the series split.
Terriers junior guard Walter Whyte started the Terriers off Wednesday, scoring the first six points of the game. The Terriers shot 58% from the field in the first half, compared to the Crusaders’ 38%. But the Crusaders shot 7-14 from behind the arc, and the Terriers ended the first 20 minutes behind 35-38.
In the second half, the Terriers came back to win the game, again outshooting the Crusaders from the field — 52% to the Crusaders’ 37%. The Terriers were also able to limit the Crusaders’ three-point shooting chances.
“They were shooting the ball extremely well from behind the arc,” assistant coach Curtis Wilson said in a press conference Wednesday. “We just felt that we needed to do a better job on the ball-screen action.”
Crusaders guard Austin Butler continued to be a challenge for the Terriers Wednesday. He scored 19 points and hauled in 11 rebounds.
“We put a lot of emphasis on trying to slow [Butler] down as much as possible without fouling and … match his intensity,” Wilson said.
Several Terriers saw the ball Wednesday evening. Whyte had 17 points, senior guard Javante McCoy and junior guard Jonas Harper scored 13 points, and junior forwards Fletcher Tynen and Jack Hemphill saw eight points.
“That’s how we play,” Wilson said. “It shows our depth, the ability we have to score with other guys that have the ability, on any night, that can put the ball in the basket.”
The Terriers record now stands at 5-6, having won the last four of five games, with a break in between related to COVID-19, but now lead Holy Cross in their season series 3-2. BU will play its next two-game series this weekend against Colgate University in Hamilton, New York.
The BU women’s basketball team returned for a midweek game Wednesday against Holy Cross with a 71-53 win.
Action in the first quarter was dominated by the Terriers with an 11-point advantage over the Crusaders at the end of the quarter. Sophomore forward Maren Durant was the Terriers’ standout player early in the quarter, scoring six points in the first five minutes.
Despite the initial scoring, the Terriers had a slow start, not gaining an advantage until halfway through the quarter. Head Coach Marisa Moseley said the team is going to work on that area of play specifically.
“I’m not sure if it’s the quick turnaround or what it is, that we’re not having great starts,” Moseley said in a press conference Wednesday, “but I’m definitely going to fix it.”
The second quarter was all BU again, with a steady lead over Holy Cross throughout. Sophomore guard Sydney Johnson started up the second quarter scoring for BU by sinking the first layup.
At the end of the half, the Terriers were up to a 16-point lead. The depth of the Terriers’ bench kept them scoring the entire half, with six players all contributing to their total 40 points in one half. The Crusaders struggled to score with the exception of junior guard Avery LaBarbera and junior forward Oluchi Ezemma, who together scored 20 of the Crusaders’ 24 points in the half.
Scoring continued to slow for the Terriers early in the third quarter, while the Crusaders attempted to catch up. The efforts of junior forward Riley Childs and redshirt junior guard Emily Esposito, along with Durant and Nelson, kept the Terriers ahead going into the last quarter.
“We had a bit of a let down in the second half, we weren’t as sharp,” Moseley said “We put some really good stretches together, but we talked about [how] we can’t relax.”
The Terriers broke 70 points in the fourth quarter with a layup by senior forward Mackenzie Miers that gave them an 18 point win over the Crusaders.
The Terriers take on Holy Cross again Saturday in Worcester and Sunday in Boston.