Women’s Basketball: Strong defense leads BU past Army

Alex Giannaros shoots over an Army defender Wednesday. Giannaros led the Terriers with 24 points in the 64-56 win. JOE EACHUS/ WTBU SPORTS

By Joe Eachus

In a back-and-forth battle, the Boston University women’s basketball team defeated the Army Black Knights 64-56 Wednesday.

Each team had its struggles on offense, as Army (7-6, 2-2 PL) shot 36.9% from the field and BU (8-7, 4-0 PL) shot 40.3%.

However, the game was largely marked by the Terriers’ defensive efforts, as they won the rebound battle 41-29 and added six blocks.

BU head coach Melissa Graves noted that strong defense was one of the Terriers’ keys to the game.

“Limiting their second-chance opportunities and keeping them under their averages from three was really, really big for us,” Graves said.

BU held Army to 25% from beyond the arc, below the Black Knights’ season average of 29%.

Freshman guard Alex Giannaros was again one of the stars of the game, scoring a career-high 24 points on 45% shooting.

Junior guard Sydney Johnson added 14 points and was strong on the defensive end, contributing one block and one steal.

“Defensively, usually each team has their go-to player that we focus on, and we try to not let that person dominate and make their other teammates have to produce,” Johnson said of the Terriers’ defensive plans.

Giannaros said she believed the Terriers’ strong defense aided in their offensive scheme as well, allowing them to add points in transition and getting the team into a good place offensively.

BU held Army guard Alisa Fallon, who came into the contest averaging 14.3 points for the Black Knights, to zero points on just three shots.

Each team barely eclipsed the 20-point mark in the first half, with BU leading Army 22-21 at halftime.

After halftime, BU found its groove, building as large as a 15-point lead.

“I think the biggest piece [at halftime] was that we knew they’re a physical team. They’re bumping us, so just trying to push through that first bump and get to the rim… being able to attack the rim at will,” Graves said.

In the third quarter, sophomore forward Caitlin Weimar went down with an apparent lower-body injury and needed assistance off the court. While she sat for the rest of the game as a precautionary measure, Graves said that she’s expected to be OK.

BU seemed to use Weimar’s absence as motivation, going on a 20-7 run for the rest of the third that effectively put the game out of reach.

Army battled back in the closing minutes of the fourth, but it was not enough to complete a comeback.

The Terriers resume conference play on Saturday with a trip to Annapolis, where a rematch with the Navy Midshipmen awaits. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.