Basketball, Sports

Bench players crucial in win at Case Gym

Junior guard Danielle Callahan — along with other members of the Boston University women’s basketball team’s bench — played a huge role for the Terriers (22–4, 12–1 America East) in their 59–45 win over the University of New Hampshire at Case Gym Saturday afternoon.

Callahan came off the bench to lead all players with 15 point. While she may not be a member of the starting five for the Terriers, her impact, as well as the impact of the rest of the BU bench, has been crucial to the Terriers’ success, especially in their last two games.

BU coach Kelly Greenberg, after the UNH (9–15, 4–8 America East) game, acknowledged the great bench play and discussed how she incorporates those players into the flow of games.

“It’s not as if we have all of these different types of lineups like we’re an NBA team,” Greenberg said. “You go with your gut. You go with who you think is bringing something different that day … Other people have stepped up.”

During the Terriers’ win against Vermont last Wednesday, bench players such as Callahan and sophomore forward Mollie McKendrick played a big role in the Terriers’ victory. McKendrick tied her career highs in both points and rebounds with eight apiece, while Callahan chipped in 10 points, including two 3-pointers.

Both players continued to provide a huge boost for the team during its most recent game against UNH. McKendrick contributed six points and three rebounds, while Callahan hit three of her five 3-pointer attempts to help the Terriers rally from a first-half deficit.

Their performances were especially essential in this game, because team-leading scorer senior guard Chantell Alford shot just 2-for-16 in the contest.

Greenberg said she believes it was Callahan’s 3-point shooting that turned the game around for the Terriers.

“I thought Danielle’s three in the corner was a big basket, offensively for us,” Greenberg said. “It got us over the hump a little bit, and got us feeling good and really fired up. That was a big possession.”

Despite only averaging 24 minutes per game, Callahan is fourth on the team in scoring (8.2 ppg) and second in both 3-point field goal percentage (.378) and 3-pointers made (45).

While her stats are impressive — especially in the limited time she spends out on the court — Callahan tends to look at the bigger picture and the team’s success, rather than her individual numbers.

“I don’t usually think of myself or what I have to do, but more of whatever the team needs at that time,” Callahan said. “Whoever is getting shots is going to take them, so it happened to me today, but it could have happened to anyone on our team.”

While BU may not go to their bench as much as other America East teams, Coach Greenberg believes it is always refreshing to see some of her reserves picking up the slack for when some of the team’s starters are not playing as effectively.

“It was nice to get a victory with some of our so-called ‘star players’ … not being at the top of their game,” Greenberg said. “Chantell [Alford] and [junior forward] Rashidat [Agboola] seemed a little bit more tired than normal, so we were able to get them out of the game.

“Mollie [McKendrick] came in and did a few things. She rebounded pretty nicely and knocked down that one shot. And Danielle [Callahan] came in and was pretty solid on defense and made some good shots.”

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