The Boston University women’s basketball team’s four-game win streak ended Thursday night after their 65-61 loss against St. Joseph’s University.
Despite trailing for nearly 30 minutes, the Terriers (4-4) never seemed out of the game. After trailing by 13 points with four minutes left in the third quarter, the team crawled their way back, tying the score at 61 with 51 seconds left in the fourth.
However, senior guard Maggie Pina, who had two rebounds, an assist and a team-leading 22 points, could not tie the game, after SJU took a 63-61 lead with 31 seconds to go.
The Terriers put themselves in a hole early, turning the ball over eight times in the first half at a -5 turnover margin. Yet, after adjustments were made at halftime, the team controlled the ball more efficiently and had a turnover margin of zero in the second half.
“We changed a little bit about how we wanted to set our ball screens, how we wanted to dribble downhill,” Head Coach Melissa Graves said. “Just be the aggressor, but measure our passes before we pass.”
For the Hawks (8-0), sophomore forward Talya Brugler led the offensive attack with 23 points, six rebounds and an assist.
“(Brugler’s) just such a versatile kid. She’s a big body inside. She’s a post player. So we knew she would be more difficult to guard just because she could lie inside, outside, she can shoot the three,” Graves said.
Behind the Hawks bench was the notorious St. Joseph’s mascot, flapping its wings for the entirety of the game. According to ESPN, the hawk has flapped its wings “For every minute of every Saint Joseph’s game,” since the mascot’s debut in 1956, as “a silent, vaguely sadistic testament to faith and endurance.”
The student who gets to wear the costume after an interview process is considered a member of the basketball team and given a full scholarship.
BU was low on the depth chart in the forward position after junior forward Caitlin Weimar went down with an injury, seemingly located in her lower leg, and was out for the rest of the game. In addition, senior forward Maren Durant fouled out, and freshman forward Sam Crispe was forced to play through foul trouble.
Before going down, Weimar contributed yet another double-double, tallying 16 points, 11 rebounds and an assist.
“Caitlin has been playing the last few games tremendously, especially coming out with a double-double almost every game, and so I thought she played really well,” Graves said. “If she continues to play this way, it’s going to be hard for us not to be successful.”
Despite the loss, BU played a hard-fought defensive game, finishing as St. Joseph’s closest win of the season thus far.
“Defensively, we had a tremendous game. We held this team to 33% shooting when they normally shoot 44, and I’m just really proud of the overall effort coming back from down 13 to tie it with less than a minute left,” Graves said.
After losing 80-90 to Boston College on Sunday for their second-straight loss, the team now looks ahead to their matchup against Merrimack College at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.
“There were moments in the game where I thought we hit adversity, and we could have folded,” Graves said. “Last year, that was more of the kind of team we were mentally, and we have so much more mental fortitude this year. We did a good job, and that’s a testament to our leadership.”