Basketball, Sports

Terriers rely on leaders to top BC

There were 12 minutes left in the game when junior guard Danielle Callahan scored her first field goal as a member of the Boston University women’s basketball team. It just happened to be in the midst of a 14–0 run. It just happened to be the first BU lead since the first bucket of the second half. It just happened to be against Boston College.

Friday, the Terriers (1–0) opened its season against cross-town rival BC (0–1) at home. The Terriers won 52–46, but it was not the fact that they won that brought the crowd to its feet, but how they won.

BU stole an early 7–0 lead after winning the tipoff. Soon, the score was tied at seven. Then it was 12–9 in favor of BC. The pattern continued to the point that a surge of momentum in the final minutes of the half left the home team down 19–20 going into the break.

“The first half was something else,” said BU coach Kelly Greenberg. “It was quite the offensive struggle for both teams … [but] in the second half, we turned it on a little bit.

“At halftime we talked at the half about not calling offense. Let’s just play … Let’s not take our time and set up. Let’s just take it to them and attack.”

The Eagle lead extended to 32–23 before the Terriers got going, but once they got going, they did not stop. The second half soon turned into a flood of scarlet and white offense.

Callahan, who was unable to play during her first two seasons at BU, put up her first basket to give the Terriers a 33–32 lead, and that was but one of several highlights.

Her shot accounted for two points during a 22–4 run for the Terriers where the Eagles could only score on free throws.

Overall, as the game and the Terriers’ offense progressed, the improvement showed on the stat sheets. Their field-goal conversion jumped from 26.9 percent in the first half to 47.8 percent in the second. Likewise, 3-point shots more than tripled, going from 12.5 percent to 45.5 percent.

While most BU players on the court put up at least few points, a large part of the turnaround was due to senior guard Chantell Alford. The two-time America East Player of the Year scored 17, nine of which came from beyond the arc. By the game’s end, she also had an assist and seven total rebounds.

“I think we definitely have to thank our fans,” Alford said. “The atmosphere was just — it was great tonight. We just tried to keep the momentum and they were with us. We were just happy for each other all down the bench, so that had a lot do with [the win].”

The other defining factor in BU’s offensive success was senior guard and co-captain Mo Moran. While she had only five points — three of which came off an and-one play as part of the momentum surge in the first half — she called nearly every play.

She was at the forefront of most major developments on the attack. More importantly than any physical play though, according to Greenberg, Moran remained level-headed during both the highs and the lows of the game.

“I don’t like to sub [Moran or Alford] out,” Greenberg said. “I feel a lot better when they’re on the court. They play off of each other very well, and the team looks to them.”

BC did eventually find its footing, but it was too late. The crowd was already screaming. The Terriers already knew they could win. The point differential — 48-38 when the Eagles scored their first field goal in over ten minutes — was too great.

From here, the Terriers now look to two major home games against teams who also have yet to lose. They go up against the University of West Virginia (1–0) Monday at Case Gymnasium and the University of Richmond (1–0) follows.

“I’m really excited about playing [West Virginia] just to see how the team responds,” Greenberg said. “It’s all about preparation and our team mentality. We have to be ready to face different teams … and we have to approach them differently.”

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