Women’s Basketball: Terriers reign supreme in win against Massachusetts rival Holy Cross

By Aniya Sumner

Cover Photo Credit: Stevie Potter

Boston University Women’s Basketball (19-6, 14-0 PL) defeated the Holy Cross Crusaders (18-7, 10-4 PL) at Case Gym on Wednesday night by a score of 66-59, securing their place as the top team in the Patriot League.

Senior guard Sydney Johnson led the team with 17 points and six rebounds, along with four steals. Sophomore guard Alex Giannaros followed with 13 points and two assists, while junior forward Caitlin Weimar added 11 points, three assists and eight rebounds in the win.  

“It was really about keeping [our] composure,” BU Head Coach Melissa Graves said. “We were looking to take it one possession at a time, and that was the focus; not needing to win this game, but really keeping it one possession at a time is what we focused on.”

The Terriers started the game quickly, controlling the pace of the game with the first made basket and keeping Holy Cross out of the paint with tight man defense. 

The Crusaders had a similar agenda, starting out in zone defense with an effort to keep Johnson out of the paint. However, BU was able to break down the Crusaders’ zone defense with Weimar and senior forward Maren Durant fighting for rebounds in the paint.

“Our bigs rebounded the ball, they defended inside, some of those rebounds were really huge and we needed them,” Graves said. 

A small 3-point hot streak from Holy Cross in the latter half of the first quarter gave the team their first lead of the night, ending the quarter up 23-17. 

The second quarter proved to be BU’s most challenging as they turned the ball over seven times in the quarter alone, giving Holy Cross seven points from the mistakes and an even bigger lead for the Terriers to come back from. 

Despite the 41-33 score favoring the Crusaders, the Terriers held their own in the second half.

“At halftime, we adjusted,” Graves said. “Offensively, we got into our flow, but it really came down to the defensive side and that’s what really turned the game around.” 

The Terriers had their best quarter yet, shooting 100% from behind the arc and 58.33% from the field in the third quarter. BU’s pressure defense and high shot percentage allowed for the team to outscore Holy Cross 17-9 in the third quarter alone, tying it up at 50-50 to start the fourth.

“We talked about, towards the end of the game, taking smart shots,” Graves said. “Unless we had a wide open layup, I wanted to really run the offense, and Sydney is the go-to for that.”

The Terriers’ hustle on defense and the control from Johnson in the fourth quarter ultimately kept the Crusaders from taking home the victory. The 9-0 run in the early part of the fourth quarter, along with key defensive rebounding, gave the Terriers the nail-biting 66-59 win. 

The Terriers will look to continue their win streak as they travel to Pennsylvania on Saturday to take on the Bucknell Bison at 12 p.m.