By Luke Scotchie
Case Gymnasium erupted on Saturday when senior guard Liz Shean nailed a 3-pointer with six seconds left in Boston University Women’s Basketball’s (16-6, 11-0 PL) 100-57 win against the Loyola University Maryland Greyhounds (7-15, 2-9 PL).
Shean’s final 3-pointer marked the Terriers’ 100th point of the game, a feat the Terriers have not accomplished since Feb. 13, 1987.
“(Scoring 100 points) just makes it more of a statement win,” BU Head Coach Melissa Graves said. “I think I was one year old the last time they did this, just to put that into perspective.”
Senior guard Sydney Johnson played a phenomenal game, leading the Terriers in scoring with 20 points off of 8-for-12 shooting from the field and 4-for-7 from beyond the 3-point line. Graves said that Johnson’s impact on this game reflects the impact she has on her team.
“I think the biggest thing with [Johnson] is she’s really worked on her demeanor, her mannerisms on the court, how she affects the team in a positive way,” Graves said. “It’s crucial for our team, the way that she goes a lot of time is the way that the whole team goes.”
BU took a sizable lead very early in the game, finishing the first quarter with 30 points to Loyola’s 12. 25 of those points came off of the break, a stat that Graves is proud of.
“I thought we did a really good job of sprinting in transition, and even cutting the floor…and getting the ball to the other side,” Graves said. “It was very hard for them to rotate out of, so that first half I thought we were tremendous in transition.”
3-point shooting played a major role in BU’s first-half dominance as well. The Terriers shot 8-for-16 (50%) from beyond the arc in the first half, including going 4-for-7 (57.1%) in the second half. But to Graves, the ball movement that allowed those shots to happen was just as important as the Terriers’ impressive shooting.
“Our guards did a great job of obviously shooting the basketball tonight,” Graves said, “But I thought our posts even did a great job of finding (the guards).”
Graves believes that her team’s offensive versatility is one of its biggest strengths, as opposing defenses such as Loyola learn quickly that the Terriers can score no matter how close to the basket they are.
“That’s what makes us really hard to guard,” Graves said, “Because if you take away our posts, our guards are open for shots. If you take our guards our posts are open.”
The second half, like the first, was a scoring onslaught from BU. The third quarter alone saw the Terriers put up 30 points, going 12-for-16 from the field and 3-for-6 from three. It was BU’s least efficient quarter from beyond the arc until a Johnson buzzer-beater put the Terriers at 50% from deep.
The game was over before the final quarter even began, but the Terriers added 17 points to seal the game away. After two Maren Durant free throws, the final 15 points were all scored on threes.
Despite the suspense that filled Case Gym during BU’s final possession, Graves knew what the outcome would be as soon as Shean let the ball fly.
“[Shean] is a gamer,” Graves said. “I knew she was going to hit that and I think [the Terriers] were really excited just to get to that point and get to that that milestone.”
Graves anticipated this game to be just like any other, a well-played match that would have little impact beyond the standings. But as the Terriers kept scoring and scoring, everyone in attendance knew her team was standing on the precipice of history.
“You know, I didn’t know that we were gonna get to it toward the end there,” Graves said. “And then once we were getting close, the whole gym was kind of like ‘100 points! 100 points!’”
Once she knew the Terriers had a chance to reach a milestone they left unreached in decades, Graves decided to let her team have the fun they deserved.
“Normally, I would tell them not to take that shot, because there was enough time that our shot clock would have run out and we were already up,” Graves. “But you know, they were feeling it.”
This win marks BU’s 11th straight victory, keeping them undefeated in conference play. But of all those victories, Graves said that this one will undoubtedly be among the most memorable.
“(I’m) just really proud of them,” Graves said. “I mean, that’s something that they could always remember for the rest of our lives, that we were able to do that.”
The Terriers look to extend their winning streak on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. against American University at Bender Arena in Washington, D.C.