Basketball, Sports

Stifling defense carries the Terriers over Colgate 58-44

The Boston University women’s basketball team earned their ninth straight win in a tightly contested game against Colgate University with a final score of 58-44. This win was the team’s fifth straight road victory, putting them at a 7-4 record away from Case Gym on the season. The Terriers (14-6, 9-0 Patriot League) have already surpassed last season’s six road wins with over a month left to play. 

Women's basketball player dribbles away from an opponent while coach watches
Melissa Graves, head coach, directs the squad as guard Alex Giannaros controls the ball against a Northeastern University opponent in a Nov. 2022 game. The Boston University women’s basketball team defeated Colgate University 58-44, the team’s ninth win in a row. ELIZA NUESTRO/DFP STAFF

“(They understand) it is harder to play on the road… They learned from last year,” said head coach Melissa Graves. “(It) was definitely a focus of ours, just dominating the paint.” 

The Terriers controlled the Raiders (10-10, 4-5 PL) down low. They outrebounded Colgate 42 to 24 and conducted a lot of their offense inside, outscoring the Raiders in the paint by 16. 

BU dictated play for the majority of the first half despite an uncharacteristically poor shooting performance from one of the most accurate teams in the country. The Terriers shot just 1-8 from behind the arc, an area that’s been the Terriers’ bread and butter. This was also their first win when scoring under 60 points this season. 

BU’s defense, ranked third in the Patriot League, picked up the slack, limiting Colgate to 28 points in the first half. But the Terriers only scored 27 points against Colgate’s defense, ranked second in the league.

Colgate led for just 39 seconds in the entire half, though they took an unlikely lead into halftime thanks to a bucket with 24 seconds to go. Graves and the Terriers needed to simplify their play to win.

“I would have loved to shoot the ball better,” Graves said. “We needed to be aggressive and attack the rim.”

The Terriers outscored the Raiders 23-9 in the third quarter. They found ways to break down the Colgate defense, forcing 9 turnovers in the second half. The Terriers only coughed the ball up six times in the final 20 minutes. 

BU has looked like a different team coming out of halftime all season long. They’ve outscored opponents by 97 points in third quarters thus far in the season, by far their best mark in any quarter. 

While the rest of the team still struggled with their shooting touch in the second half, junior forward Caitlin Weimar paced all scorers with a career-high-matching 23 points. She shot 8-11 from the field to go with 11 rebounds for her 11th double-double of the season. Senior guard Sydney Johnson managed the offense, chipping in five assists, which puts her just six assists away from 300 in her career. 

BU put on the clamps again in the second half, holding Colgate to just 16 points – Colgate averages over 60 per game. The Raiders’ leading scorer, sophomore guard Taylor Golembiewski, was held to a single basket. 

Golembiewski might be the star, but Graves emphasized the team’s impressive synergy is what wins them games. One person can’t do it by themselves. 

“Their best player (alone) is not going to beat us.” 

The Raiders had a pair of players get into double figures, with junior forwards Tiasia McMillan and Lindsay Blackmore each putting up 10 points to pace Colgate. 

What helped set BU apart in the second half was their physicality, which afforded them 24 free throws on the night. While they shot a miserable 50% from the line, the constant aggression forced many Colgate players into foul trouble. 

With the win, the Terriers remain undefeated in conference play, and with the help of a Lehigh victory over Holy Cross in overtime, BU now stands on the top of the Patriot League for the first time this season. 

BU will host Lehigh University this Saturday for the Terriers’ Alumni Day. Tip off at Case Gym is slated for 4 p.m., with the Terriers looking to be the first Patriot League team to reach double-digit wins.

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