Sophomore forward Nia Irving’s 23 points and 12 rebounds were not enough to steal a win Wednesday night, as the Boston University women’s basketball team fell to Lafayette College in a 44-41 loss.
Both teams started the game struggling to find the bottom of the basket, leading the first half to finish with a low 25-22 score in favor of BU (10-16, 5-11 Patriot League).
The Terriers’ defense held Lafayette (10-16, 6-10 Patriot League) to just 7-for-33 shooting from the field in the first half, while they were able to make just 36.4 percent (8-for-22) of their shots.
“We started poorly against their zone with missed shots. Too many threes and not enough success getting it inside to bigs around the rim,” BU head coach Katy Steding said.
Fortunately for the Leopards, they were able to keep themselves in the game, despite the Terriers’ suffocating defense, by making 4-for-12 from behind the arc during the first half.
BU’s luck from downtown was not so favorable.
The Terriers went 0-for-6 from three land to start the half, but finally broke through when senior guard Meghan Doogan hit her first three of the season to beat the first-half buzzer.
Though most were not shooting well, Irving led the way for BU, racking up 14 points and seven rebounds in the first half on 4-for-5 shooting from the field.
Lafayette jumped out to a fast start in the second half, outscoring the Terriers 14-7 in the third quarter to take a 36-32 lead.
Freshman forward Natalie Kucowski put up four points and four rebounds for the Leopards in that quarter alone.
BU’s shooting woes continued into the second half, and were only able to score six points inside the paint, a third of what they put up in the first half.
“Our shots were not falling because we needed to do a better job of getting the ball inside than out,” Steding said.
Most possessions for the Terriers saw plenty of ball movement around the perimeter, but they could not find a way to consistently infiltrate Lafayette’s defense and score.
The Leopards continued with a lead going into the final frame.
Though Lafayette was held to just 23.7 percent shooting on the night, BU was held to only 24.5 percent. The Leopards had much more success from the three-point line overall, making six to the Terriers’ two.
However, BU finally broke the shooting curse for brief moment, and Irving scored five straight points to put her team up 39-38, forcing Lafayette to call a timeout with 5:38 remaining in the contest.
The next four minutes of game saw just one basket go down for both teams, until Lafayette freshman guard Drew Freeland knocked down four straight free throws to win the game 44-41.
Senior center Sophie Beaudry stood out for the Terriers, grabbing 11 rebounds to compliment Irving’s 12.
“We needed to dig in on the defensive end and get the stops, a couple of critical fouls and stops,” Steding said. “I thought our end-of-game calls were okay, but maybe a different look. We got good shots at the end, just need[ed] to put them in.”