Basketball, Sports

Women’s basketball looks for fast start this season against New England foes

The Boston University Women’s Basketball team will open their season this Friday at Case Gymnasium when they face off against the
Providence College Friars, a game which will be followed up that home contest with a game this Sunday against the University of Massachusetts-Amherst Minutewomen at the Mullins Center.

“We’re excited,” says Terriers head coach Kelly Greenberg, “We feel healthy. We have three great senior captains, and the team works
really well. It’s all a matter of having it play out on the court.”

The Terriers are gearing up for the season after being selected to finish second in the America East Conference in the 2011-12 season
by a vote from the conference’s nine head coaches.

Adding more good news for the start of the season, junior guard Chantell Alford was a unanimous selection for the America East Preseason All-Conference Team. Alford was also awarded to 2011 America East Player of the Year title last season after a league-best 15.0 points per game average.

Three senior captains will also take to the court in guards Alex Young and Kasie Carbacio and forward Caroline Stewart. Stewart, who has
been in a boot cast, is planning to start in both of the upcoming games this weekend. Greenberg says that the boot was just a precaution.

BU’s first opponent, Providence, had its season ended last year in the first round of the Big East Women’s Basketball Championship, as the Friars fell to Villanova University 52-50 in overtime, dropping their 2010-11 season record to 13-16 overall.

“Providence is bigger than us,” says Greenberg, “They’re more athletic. They beat us last year, but we’re smart.”

Most of their championship team will be returning this year, including sophomore forward Lauren Okafor, who was named to the 2011 Big East all-Freshman team. She is the first Friar in three years to earn this honor.  Also returning is sophomore Alicia Cropper, who posted the first double-digit scoring game of her career against BU last season.

On Sunday, the Terriers will visit UMass, which closed a disappointing season last year with a 77-66 loss to the University of North
Carolina-Charlotte 49ers in the first round of the Atlantic-10 Tournament. The Minutewomen ended their 2010-11 season with a 7-23 record.

“We’re pretty familiar with that coaching staff,” Greenberg says, “but they have a lot of new players that are pretty good. It’s the same
thing as with Providence, they’re bigger than us, so we just have to play smart.”

The Minutewomen will welcome four new players to the team, freshman forwards Ronni Grandison, Kim Pierre-Louis, and Aisha Rodney and guard Emily Mital.

Returning this season is junior center Jasmine Watson, who in her 2010-11 season debut against BU scored 13 points. Guard Megan Zullo will also be returning as a red-shirting senior. Zullo lead the team in assists last season with a record of 135. She has also been named to the 2011 College Sports Madness Atlantic 10 Preseason All-Conference second team. She ranked third in the Atlantic-10 in assists per-game last season.

BU finished the 2010-11 season with a 17-14 record, including a 12-4 mark in conference competition. The Terriers fell to the
University of Hartford 65-53 in the conference title game last season, despite the season-high 22 points from junior guard Mo Moran. All but one starter from last year’s team will return.

“It would be terrific to win these two games,” says Greenberg, “You know, when you start off a season 1-0 and then 2-0 it feels great. But for these first few games, we just have to focus on us and our playing, not what the other teams are doing just yet. We have all of these
games before America East play in January to work everything out.”

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