Basketball, Sports

Women’s basketball wins 3rd-straight contest

The Boston University women’s basketball team continued its winning play and extended its winning streak to a season-best three games, defeating Loyola University-Maryland, 74-55, at Case Gymnasium Saturday afternoon.

“Early on we just got it going offensively,” said BU coach Kelly Greenberg. “We went into [senior forward Rashidat Agboola] a number of times. Make or miss, they were all good looks. I just thought we got going with that. We played good defense, I expected to play some zone today, but we were pretty sharp defensively in our man so we just stayed with it the whole game.”

The Greyhounds (5-20, 2-12 Patriot League) got the scoring started with a jump shot from forward Nneka Offodile to put them up 2-0. The Terriers responded with an 11-0 run, however, which was capped by senior guard Danielle Callahan’s second 3-pointer of the game with 15:34 left in the first half.

The Greyhounds cut the lead to just eight points with 13:34 left in the half, making it 15-7, but would not get any closer.

It was a team effort for BU in the first half, as the Terriers generated offense from every position. Six out of the seven players who played in the frame registered points.

Good ball movement led to wide-open looks for Callahan and freshman guard Sarah Hope, among others. All the attention that Agboola, the reigning Patriot League Player of the Week, got from the Greyhound defense also contributed to Callahan and Hope’s open looks.

“We’re getting [Rashidat] more looks,” Greenberg said. “And to be quite honest with you, I was subbing her too much, thinking she needed a rest, and finally I’m like, ‘You know what, the heck with that, we’re just going to play her a lot of minutes and make sure she get a lot of touches.’ So we’re really spacing out and letting her just have the whole inside lane and keeping the other forward out of the paint.”

The Terriers ended the strong half up 41-21, looking poised on the way to a commanding victory. The team’s offensive outburst combined with solid man-to-man defense helped BU jump out to such an advantage. BU held the Greyhounds to just 18.8 percent from the field in the first half, while the Terriers shot 37.1 percent from the field and went 6-for-17 from downtown.

After the break, both two teams exchanged buckets for a majority of the second half. The Greyhounds seemed to pick up their intensity, but they could not stop the Terrier offense, as BU countered the Greyhounds with every run. The closest Loyola would ever get came with 6:36 remaining in the game, when two free-throw makes from guard Nai Brown cut BU’s lead to 16.

BU, with another solid performance down the stretch, closed out the Greyhounds by a score of 74-55. The 19-point win marked the team’s second-biggest margin of victory of the season.

Callahan ended with a game-high 20 points, which included an impressive six 3-pointers. Agboola extended her double-digit scoring streak to five games, dropping in 19 points to go along with five her rebounds.

Junior forward Mollie McKendrick also posted another solid game, registering 11 points and nine rebounds, while senior guard Melissa Gallo added 10 points of her own.

The Terriers’ offense was effective and potent all afternoon. Greenberg attests this to her simplified offensive playbook, and said this will really help the team going forward.

“I just think we just limited what we do, and we just took away [from the offensive playbook],” Greenberg said. “So maybe the players aren’t thinking so much, ‘Oh maybe we should run this now.’ Now we just have so few looks that it’s easier. And it’s been paying dividends for us.”

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