Women’s Basketball: Terriers defeat Loyola despite limited rotation

Annabelle Larnard slips in a layup against Loyola Maryland Wednesday. Despite having a seven-person rotation, the Terriers defeated the Greyhounds 65-47. JOE EACHUS/ WTBU SPORTS

By Joe Eachus 

The Boston University women’s basketball team moved to 6-0 in conference play on Wednesday night with a win over the Loyola Greyhounds, 65-47.

BU (10-7, 6-0 PL) was short six players due to injuries and COVID-19 protocols, and Terriers head coach Melissa Graves made sure to praise those who stepped up.

“The biggest thing to sum up this game is just how proud I am of this group… having to play with so many limited bodies, and having to step up and never waver on anything,” Graves said.

Due to the limited players available, Graves got creative with her seven-man rotation.

Junior Maren Durant was the only true forward available for the Terriers in the contest, so guards Annabelle Larnard, Emily Esposito, and Lauren Davenport all saw action down low.

Four of the five starters scored double-digit points in the game: junior guards Sydney Johnson (16 points), Maggie Pina (17 points), and Liz Shean (16 points), as well as fifth-year guard Emily Esposito (11 points).

“We can go really deep into our bench… people on this team continue to step up through any adversity we have, people are ready when their name is called,” Graves added.

Durant was the only starter to not score in the double digits, only managing one point but contributing greatly on the defensive end with 10 rebounds, three blocks, and four steals.

The Greyhounds (3-13, 0-6 PL) were sluggish to begin, only managing one basket during BU’s run to open the game. A late run helped Loyola cut the lead down to 11.

Moving into the second, the Greyhounds clamped down defensively, only allowing two points in the entire frame as BU shot 0-15 from the field. The Terriers held them to eight points, though, and BU retained the lead into halftime.

In the second half, the Terriers controlled the pace of the game effectively, going on small runs to neutralize any runs the Greyhounds had themselves.

A 15-3 run to close out the final frame eliminated any chance the Greyhounds had of a comeback, led by Johnson’s eight points in the fourth.

“I just take what the defense gives me and puts my team in the best position,” Johnson said of her performance. “One of the things that does that is me scoring the ball… that opens up a lot of stuff for my other teammates. People are more focused on me, so then I can dish out, pass, do those things.”

The Terriers resume play Saturday afternoon, taking on the Lehigh Mountain Hawks with a 2 p.m. tipoff.