The Boston University women’s basketball team sunk the United States Naval Academy 66-55 Saturday for a Senior Day victory at Case Gym.
The Terriers (13-12, 9-6 Patriot League) pulled away late in the fourth quarter against the Mids (10-15, 5-10 Patriot League), in a game quite different from BU’s 49-35 win in Annapolis, Maryland last month.
Senior guard Payton Hauck tied her season best with 22 points and three rebounds, four assists and no fouls for a fitting senior day performance. The senior class of Hauck, guard Lauren Spearman and forward Naiyah Thompson combined for 41 points on the day.
BU head coach Marisa Moseley said this year’s senior class was a great asset in her first season coaching Terrier women’s basketball.
“I didn’t recruit them, but I really inherited a great group of young women who have bought into everything that I have asked them to do,” Moseley said. “They’ve been steady and reliable.”
The first quarter was high-scoring, especially when compared with the Terriers’ previous matchup against the Mids. That game was 8-5 Navy after one quarter, while Saturday’s game was 19-16 Navy after the first.
This time, the Mids were led by sophomore Sophie Gatzounas’ seven points while the Terriers were led by Hauck’s eight points.
By the second quarter media timeout, the Terriers had taken a 25-23 lead off of a 3-pointer and mid-range jumpers from Spearman and freshman forward Riley Childs.
The first half ended with the Terriers holding the edge, 31-27. Gatzounas led the Mids with a half-high 11 points, but got into trouble with two quick fouls in the final minute of the half. Spearman led BU with nine points at the break.
While the Terriers held the lead at halftime, Moseley said she was not impressed with their first half performance — especially in terms of turnovers.
“I wasn’t quite happy with our turnovers … we have to continue harping,” she said. “You can’t win against good teams turning the ball over that much. Navy’s a good team, we just outscored them tonight.”
Both teams shot above 40 percent in the half, a far cry from the Terriers’ 24 percent first half performance in Annapolis last month. The Mids also improved their 25-percent shooting performance from the first leg.
Navy called a timeout with about four minutes left in the third quarter. Coming out of the stoppage the Mids made three of the next four buckets to make the score 37-36, and then forced three straight Terrier turnovers going into the media timeout.
At the end of the third the Terriers were back on top 47-43, as Hauck poured in 10 points in the quarter. Heading into the fourth, BU had made six 3-pointers in the game — already exceeding their season average for successful threes.
Hauck continued to exert her dominance in the fourth quarter, scoring two quick buckets and tying her season high of 22 points.
With 4:54 left in the game, Navy called a timeout after the Terriers had extended the lead to the highest of the game at eight points, 58-50.
After the timeout, the Terrier offense took control, scoring six of the next eight points with four coming from Childs. With 1:30 left in the game, BU held a commanding 64-52 lead.
With 52 seconds left, Moseley called a timeout to pull Spearman, Hauck and Thompson out of the game. As they were walking off the court, they received a standing ovation from the home crowd as senior day came to a close.
BU would hold on for the victory, sweeping the season series from the Mids with a 66-55 win.
The Terriers will return to play at Case Gym Wednesday against Lafayette College in the third-to-last game of the regular season. If the standings hold from today to the end of the season, BU would finish third in the Patriot League and would host their first-ever women’s Patriot League quarterfinals.
Moseley said her team’s plan is to build some steam heading into the conference tournament.
“The plan is to try and win out here these last three games,” she said. “We do that, and we’ll lock up third place … and get some momentum going into the tournament. We’ve shown already that we can play and compete, and probably beat any team in this league.”