Winning just doesn’t get old for the Boston University women’s basketball team. The Terriers extended their program-best winning streak to 11 with an 89-71 victory over Stony Brook University last night at Case Gymnasium.
The win featured the Terriers’ (16-6, 10-0 America East) highest point total of the season and capped the season sweep of the Seawolves (5-16, 3-6), who were riding a three-game winning streak before running into the first-place Terriers.
The Terriers remain among elite company, as they are one of 14 teams in the nation that has yet to lose in its conference. Joining them are national powerhouses such as the No. 1 University of Connecticut (Big East), the No. 2 University of Oklahoma (Big 12) and the No. 3 University of California (Pacific-10).
The senior class led the way for BU yet again, as Christine Kinneary (15 points, 6 assists), Kristi Dini (11 points) and Jesyka Burks-Wiley (28 points, 9 boards) all registered double figures.
Fellow senior Amarachi Umez-Eronini didn’t score her first point until the second half, but made her presence felt on the defensive end with a career-high seven steals.
‘Our main focus in practice was being aggressive and getting in the passing lanes,’ Umez-Eronini said about her lockdown D. ‘We’ve been working on that and doing defensive drills like that. Denying any passes up top, just being aggressive and talking. That’s what got us the steals and the deflections.’
BU improved on its conference-leading field-goal percentage (.428) by shooting 49.2 percent from the floor.
BU coach Kelly Greenberg has said in the past that she likes her team to get to the free-throw line often ‘-‘- at least 20 times per game ‘-‘- since the Terriers lead the conference with a .727 percent clip from the line. They achieved that goal with ease, shooting 23-of-29 (.793) from the charity stripe.
The Terriers racked up the free-throw attempts in the second half, as they reached the double bonus with more than 10 minutes remaining in the game. The Terriers also found themselves over the foul limit just minutes later, and the last nine minutes of the game turned into a free-throw shooting contest.’
‘[Stony Brook] was being aggressive,’ Greenberg said. ‘I thought our people off the bench came in and did a nice job. We got to play [Umez-Eronini] a little bit at point guard, which is great to get her seasoned a little bit. We got [Kinneary] a rest that she never gets, so I thought some good things happened.” ‘
The Terriers wore down the overmatched Seawolves by pushing the ball on offense and reeling off 14 fastbreak points.
‘We recognized at half that they seemed tired,’ Greenberg said. ‘They had girls asking to come out of the game they were so tired. So, [Kinneary] and [Umez-Eronini] just wanted to keep running. It didn’t mean we had to get fastbreak points, but just keep pushing the ball.’
Two Umez-Eronini steals and a Dini 3-pointer contributed to a fast start for the Terriers, who jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first two minutes.’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘
The Seawolves, however, kept the score close in the fist half, as they came within two points of BU with 4:49 left in the half. At 4:41, sophomore forward Kerry Cashman hit a layup that gave the Terriers a 37-33 lead. That was the closest Stony Brook would be to BU for the rest of the night.
Burks-Wiley scored 18 of her 28 points in the second half. At 13:10, she hit a 3-pointer from well beyond the arc and just minutes later converted an and-1 when she was fouled on a layup to give the Terriers a 66-51 lead.
‘Coach is always telling me, ‘Jesyka, keep it simple. Recognize what kind of defense they’re in,” Burks-Wiley said. ‘They were doing single coverage, so it allowed me to do a lot of one-on-one moves.’