The Boston University women’s basketball team dropped its season finale on the road against Loyola Maryland University by a score of 65-52 Wednesday night.
The Terriers (10-18, 5-13 Patriot League) found themselves down against the Greyhounds (9-20, 7-11 Patriot League) by 13 points at the end of the first half, but were able to make it a close game down the stretch, scoring 21 points in the third quarter.
BU ended its 2017-18 regular season in the midst of a five-game losing streak before it will play Lafayette College in the first round of the Patriot League playoffs.
BU head coach Katy Steding said she was happy to see her team rebound in the second half.
“‘Go out and play harder and quit playing scared. Don’t worry about making a mistake, and get the ball in the paint,’” Steding said of her half time message to her players. “I felt like they were really coming after us physically and we knew that. We needed to respond and we did.”
The Terriers jumped out to the early lead to open the first quarter thanks to layups from senior guard Corrine Williams and sophomore forward Nia Irving.
The rest of the quarter was a back-and-forth affair. However, by the end of the first quarter, BU’s offense had gotten off to a good start and the team led 14-12.
But an 18-3 run in the second quarter by the Greyhounds allowed them to take their largest lead of the night at the half.
Eight turnovers over the quarter prevented the Terriers’ offense from getting consistent looks in the paint like they have tried to do all season. Loyola’s top scorers got numerous opportunities at the other end of the court and tallied nine points off of turnovers in the frame.
The Terriers didn’t score a point in the final 8:26 of the half, allowing the Greyhounds to gain a 13-point lead.
Freshman forward Isabella Therien and sophomore guard Alexis Gray heated up down the stretch, scoring eight and seven points in the first half, respectively.
As a team, Loyola shot 43.3 percent from the floor versus BU’s 38.9 percent during the first 30 minutes.
“I think we could’ve recognized when [senior guard CaLee Gelbaugh] was starting to get warmed up and had a couple of shots in space,” Steding said. “We could’ve played her tighter. Sometimes we just don’t take care of our matchups as well or our rotations when we’re in zone.”
Gelbaugh finished the night with 13 points while Therien and Gray also finished in double digits with 15 and 19 points, respectively.
Despite being at a deficit to start the third quarter, the Terriers bounced back and went on an offensive run themselves.
A three-pointer from freshman guard Katie Nelson at 9:28 brought BU within 13 points.
A 7-0 run cut the deficit to eight, and three of those points came consecutively from junior guard Payton Hauck within a 32-second span.
Hauck finished her offensive spurt with a layup to bring the score to 36-29.
Another three-pointer from Nelson with 1:19 remaining brought the lead to within two. Nelson finished the night going 3-for-4 behind the arc.
However, Loyola responded immediately on its very next possession with a shot from beyond the arc from Gray.
Hauck ended the quarter with a layup with one second left on the clock, and the two teams entered the fourth quarter with the score 41-38.
“I thought she played really hard,” Steding said of Hauck’s performance. “Her effort was there, and if Payton’s got a lane, there’s nobody that can stay in front of her. She’s such an athlete. There’s not many people better than her in the league in getting to the rack.”
Therien and Gray stepped up for the Greyhounds in the final quarter, helping to prevent BU from taking the lead. The pair scored 16 of Loyola’s 24 fourth-quarter points.
Despite BU’s rally attempt and Irving’s 19 points, the team could not complete the comeback.
“We did some different things against their zone tonight,” Steding said. “I think we showed that when we went man-to-man. They really had trouble with us so they stayed with the zone. I thought we could’ve handled them better.”