By Michael Wax
#3 Boston University saw its season come to an end Thursday night, as the Terriers fell 70-48 against #2 American University on the road.
Even though the Terriers struggled in their season-ending loss, BU head coach Melissa Graves was proud of the team’s effort and tenacity throughout the season.
“It’s just a heartbreaking loss,” Graves said. “I thought we accomplished a lot of great things this year and to have it come down to this… obviously not the way we wanted to go out, so just heartbroken for our kids.”
BU’s start to the game put the Terriers behind the eight ball, as they committed nine first-quarter turnovers. Graves said the good ball movement displayed against Army didn’t translate its way to this performance.
“We kept saying to the team to get it to two sides of the floor, which is how we played in our last game at home when we scored 80 points against Army,” Graves said. “I thought we struggled when we just kept the ball on one side of the floor as opposed to moving it.”
After shooting 11-of-28 from three in its quarterfinal victory over Army, BU did not hit a three in the first half and finished 3-for-11 from beyond the arc. Graves attributed the lack of shooting from three to the transition game, which fell in AU’s favor.
“We couldn’t get out in transition,” Graves said. “Our defense leads to our offense a lot of times. When you’re not getting stops, you’re getting less in transition as well. So, a lot of our threes last game came in transition and we just didn’t get those opportunities tonight.”
BU had a different leader in each category, with junior guard Sydney Johnson pacing the Terriers with 13 points before she fouled out, and junior forward Maren Durant putting up eight rebounds.
Senior guard Emily Fisher led AU with 25 points, five rebounds, four assists, and a steal. Fisher’s big game led to a solid overall game for the Eagles.
This semifinal was the final collegiate basketball game for seniors Riley Childs and Chiara Tibbett, both of whom spent their entire careers at BU. Graves commended Childs’ and Tibbett’s impact on the club.
“It extends beyond the basketball floor,” said Graves. “Both of them are captains for us. [Chiara] is someone that the team can really go to for advice. She’s kind of like the mama bear. Riley brings super hype and energy all the time. We had a little talk after the locker room; I told them how proud I was of them.”
The Terriers will bring back much of the same team in 2022-23, and Graves expects a more consistent squad heading into next season.
“Multiple coaches in the league have told me we’re the best team in the league which is a great compliment for us,” said Graves. “We’re having almost all our pieces back next year, which is really exciting. So, with all those pieces back, I’d like to see a little more consistency.”