Basketball, Basketball, Sports

Women’s basketball falls short against Lehigh while missing star Weimar

Despite missing their star senior forward Caitlin Weimar, the Boston University women’s basketball team held their own but eventually fell short against Lehigh University, 64-62.

Senior guard Sophie Beneventine (40) looks to escape University of Massachusetts Lowell’s guard in a game last November. The Terriers lost 62-64 against Lehigh University on Saturday.

In a game between the fourth and fifth-seeded teams in the Patriot League, the Terriers (13-8, 5-5 Patriot League) went down early, going almost five minutes without scoring and giving up an 11-0 run to the Mountain Hawks (13-8, 5-5 PL) to open the game. 

“I told the team after that I’m proud of their effort,” BU head coach Melissa Graves said. “We’ve had some adversity over the last couple of days, so I thought they stepped up in Caitlin’s absence, and we had a really good effort, especially after a slow start.”

After a three from junior guard Alex Giannaros to finally get the team on the board, the Terriers went on a 14-5 run, trailing by just two points after the first quarter. 

From there, it was a back-and-forth game. 

The Terriers led for just six seconds in the first half after a layup by freshman guard Audrey Ericksen gave the team their first lead. Still, Lehigh answered with a buzzer-beating driving layup by junior guard Colleen McQuillen, putting them ahead by one at the end of the second quarter. 

The two teams traded baskets down the stretch in the second half, with neither team leading by more than five points. 

In Weimar’s absence, Giannaros, senior guard Kelsi Mingo and freshman guard Aoibhe Gormley stepped up offensively. 

Giannaros totaled 17 points and three assists, while Mingo scored 14 and Gormley scored 13, hauling in five rebounds and dishing out four assists. 

The Mountain Hawks had four double-digit scorers in their offensive attack, with junior guard Ella Stemmer, junior wing Remi Sisselman, sophomore forward Lily Fandre and junior forward Meghan O’Brien leading the team. 

O’Brien and Fandre also led the team with five assists each. 

Ultimately, the Terriers missing their star was a deficit too big to handle. 

On their last possession of the game, they did not have the player they have looked to to get them a game-winning basket. In their season opener this year, Weimar scored 33 points, including the game-winning points at the buzzer. 

With less than two seconds remaining, Giannaros missed the game-tying layup, giving Lehigh the win. 

“[The play call] was just to get an isolation for Alex if we could — obviously, we’re down two, so we’re trying to go for a two and get to the rim if possible,” Graves said. 

The Terriers now have almost a week to rest and recuperate, with their next game coming next Saturday, Feb. 10 at home against Bucknell. 

According to Graves, the team hopes to have Weimar back by the end of the week after she was injured in their last game against Holy Cross. 

“We still want to use the week to get better — the first part of the week, we’re gonna work on offense and fine-tuning our offense as far as how people have been playing us in the league so far,” Graves said. “Then, in the second half of the week, we’ll get back to the scouting piece where we’ll focus on Bucknell and how we want to defend.”

Sitting at fourth in the conference, the next few games for the Terriers will be the telltale of their season. 

A few wins put them back in the race to contend for a conference championship, while a couple losses could mean spending the Patriot League playoffs on the road. 

However, Coach Graves is not worried about the team’s position in the standings, with eight conference games left to play. 

“I look at that and feel like we have the upper hand a little bit as we get those teams that beat us on the road back home to a place where we know we can be successful,” she said. “It’s hard to look at that so early with so much basketball to come.”

The team will look to get back on track Saturday at home. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.

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