Women’s Basketball: Terriers Win 16th Straight in Battle Over Army
By Charlie DeMatteo
Cover Photo Credit: Jessica Lam
Boston University Women’s Basketball (21-6, 16-0 PL) defeated the Army Black Knights (12-14, 10-6 PL) 77-70 on Wednesday night at Case Gym in Boston to win their 16th straight game of the season. With their 16th conference win, the Terriers tied their school record for conference wins in a season.
In a game that looked like it would be a blowout early, Army battled against the Terriers but ultimately couldn’t be the first team to hand BU a loss in the Patriot League this season.
“It’s just a great win,” BU Head Coach Melissa Graves said. “We knew this would have to be a hard-fought win. Army are a tough team.”
The Terriers came out in the first quarter with an abundance of energy. Senior guard Maggie Pina made an impressive drive to the rim and finished through contact for the and-1 to get the BU bench and crowd on their feet seven minutes into the contest.
“[Energy] is really crucial, we want to be able to maintain that for 40 minutes,” Graves said. “We want to have some really good momentum going into tournament play. We still want to improve.”
A steal by senior guard Sydney Johnson, who found Pina for a layup to end the first quarter, was a microcosm for the Terriers’ energetic play all night long.
As she has all season, junior forward Caitlin Weimar paced the Terriers all game. Weimar, who finished with a career-high 32 points, had 16 in the first half alone and the Terriers went into the break up 41-29.
“Just being able to stay composed and having that next-play mentality to keep on going is how I stay composed,” Weimar said.
In what was a cold first half, Army began to heat up in the third quarter, draining three straight 3-pointers to get within seven of BU with just over four minutes remaining in the third.
While Army gave BU everything they had, steady performances from senior forward Maren Durant (14 points, seven rebounds) and Pina (11 points, two rebounds) helped BU stay ahead in a game they led for all but 30 seconds.
A back-and-forth fourth quarter saw tensions rise in Case Gym. Weimar fouled out with 2:15 remaining and was waved goodbye by the Army bench. Hard to blame them after Weimar left the floor with 32 points and seven rebounds.
In a four-point game with 1:46 remaining, Johnson drove past multiple Army defenders before making a slick pass to Durant, who finished for two as Case Gym erupted. Johnson (seven points, five assists) had a quiet game by her standards but came through when her team needed her most.
Army went 10-for-29 from 3-point range against the Terriers. Junior guard Lauren Lithgow (17 points) drained five 3’s on her own against BU, but the Black Knights couldn’t make the crucial deep ball when it mattered most.
Down seven with 21 seconds remaining, senior guard Hope Brown couldn’t convert from beyond the arc, and Pina hauled in a huge rebound to seal the win for the Terriers.
Graves lauded Pina’s performance in BU’s win over the Black Knights
“She [Pina]’s really honed in on the defensive side of the ball,” Graves said. “She’s been guarding the best player and hassling them and that’s been really key for us.”
BU will look to break a school record for conference wins in a season next time out when they go for No. 17 on Saturday at 4 p.m. against Lehigh in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.