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Terriers, Terhune deliver strong showing at SMU

The Boston University women’s basketball team has decided to try for a second chance to make a first impression.

After beginning the season in unimpressive fashion in their own tournament, the Terriers have played much better, winning two of their last four games to leave them at 2-4 overall.

BU made an impressive showing this past weekend, losing a close contest to Southern Methodist University, 63-56, on Saturday in the SMU Hoops for the Cure Tournament final after blowing out Arkansas University at Pine Bluff, 87-63, in the first game on Friday.

Freshman Katie Terhune led the way for BU, averaging 23 points and 10 rebounds for the tournament, including a 27-point output against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Her performance led her to be named to the All-Tournament Team.

Also playing well for the Terriers was junior forward Dia Dufault, who scored 13 against the Golden Lions in the first game and 15 against the Mustangs in the championship.

The Terriers went into the championship game against the Mustangs knowing it would be a tough test because Southern Methodist has experienced success recently, including an NCAA tournament berth last year.

The game confirmed that, as the Terriers had a rough first half, going 6-for-27 from the field, only scoring 16 points. Luckily for the Terriers, the Mustangs didn’t play much better, going 8-for-39 and scoring just 25 points.

BU pulled close in the second half but was unable to close the gap despite outscoring SMU, 40-38.

The loss will only serve to help the Terriers, as far as Terhune is concerned.

“After playing SMU, we feel we know what we need to work on as we go into the [America East] conference season,” Terhune said.

The win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff was important, especially since BU was largely considered the favorite — and the results confirmed that belief.

“They are an undisciplined team, and we play with discipline,” Terhune said.

Indeed, BU took 44 shots from the free-throw line, hitting 32 of them.

Along with Terhune and Dufault, BU got strong contributions from freshman guard Courtney Jones and sophomore forward Rachel Werner, who each scored 12 points against the Golden Lions.

Terhune continued her excellent foul shooting in the tournament. Earlier in the season, Terhune hit 17-of-18 chances from the charity stripe against Miami University (Ohio) — both BU records. Against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, the freshman once again made good on her chances from the line, hitting 15-of-16.

“I’ve always gotten to the line a lot,” Terhune said. “I work on free-throw shooting all the time.”

The work seems to have paid off, as Terhune is the early season Terrier scoring leader, averaging 20.2 points per game in the first six games.

After being blown out by Yale University, 81-60, in its first game on Nov. 16, BU had nowhere to go but up. Indeed, the Terriers have done just that, not letting the early season struggles define their season.

“I think after each game we’ve improved,” Terhune said.

BU will need senior center Alison Dixon to find the form that saw her lead the team in scoring last year. Dixon struggled offensively during the SMU Tournament, only scoring 13 points combined in the two games on only 5-of-16 shooting. Her biggest contribution came on the boards, where she pulled down 15 rebounds in the two games, including 10 in the championship.

On a brighter note, junior guard Pilar Verde returned to action this week. Verde made short appearances in each game, and her added presence will provide BU with a strong leader on the floor.

BU seems to be improving at exactly the right time, as they face tough America East opponents this week in the University of Maine and Drexel University.

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