Women’s Basketball: BU storms back from 21-point deficit to defeat Holy Cross

By Henry Dinh-Price

BOSTON – A comeback for the ages. 

With 25.6 seconds remaining, BU had a chance to take its first lead since a 2-0 advantage in the opening minute. It was on a 7-0 run, keeping Holy Cross (16-12, 10-7 PL) scoreless for over four minutes. A 21-point deficit had shrunk to just one. 

All of Case Gym knew where the ball was headed. Into the hands of star senior forward Caitlin Weimar. 

Freshman guard Inés Monteagudo caught the sideline inbounds pass near the top of the key and found Weimar posting up against Holy Cross’ Janelle Allen. Weimar caught the pass and in one fluid motion, drop-stepped towards the rim with Allen on her hip. 

As she went up for the layup, Allen bumped her to the floor. It didn’t matter. Weimar buried it, giving the Terriers a 64-63 lead with 21.8 seconds remaining. Case Gym erupted. 


Weimar made the and-one free throw moments later to put BU up by two. 

“Once I realized that our play kind of broke down I just went to go into the post to try my best to get good position,” Weimar said. 

“I kind of blacked out after but yeah, I just tried to post up to get an easy shot.” 

It was the decisive play in a 66-63 statement victory for BU (18-10, 10-7 Patriot League). And of course, it would be Caitlin Weimar to deliver the moment. 

Weimar, despite facing double and triple teams all game long, had a masterful performance. She finished with 25 points on 10-of-12 shooting. 

“Just to win on a day like this, it’s just amazing,” Weimar said. “I think everyone stepped up and played so well. So I’m just so happy with everything right now.”

This was a game that BU had circled on its calendar. Not only was it senior night, but it was also against the Holy Cross Crusaders (16-12, 10-7 PL). The same team that handed BU its only two losses of Patriot League play last season, including a 66-61 victory in the Championship Game, denying the Terriers a chance to play in the NCAA Tournament. 

“It’s such an emotional game. It’s such a big rivalry, such a big history with them,” head coach Melissa Graves said. 

In the previous three meetings, Holy Cross has gotten the better of BU. And on Saturday, it looked like the Crusaders would win their fourth straight, cementing their kryptonite status over the Terriers. 

Junior guard Alex Giannaros opened the scoring with a midrange jumper, but after that, everything went awry. 

Holy Cross scored the next 14 points, with star senior guard Bronagh Power-Cassidy tallying 10. 

Even more importantly, BU lost one of its three seniors just four minutes into the game. Kelsi Mingo fell to a heap clutching her knee while driving to the rim. She stayed down on the hardwood and was unable to put any pressure on her right leg when she was helped off the court a few minutes later. 

The Terriers struggled to respond in her absence, and Holy Cross continued to stretch its lead. After 12 minutes, the Crusaders led 29-8. They had made nine of their last 10 field goals. 

“Those are typically how these games go with them,” Graves said. “They typically come in and shoot an insane percentage (against us).” 

BU started to claw its way back. A steal and transition layup from Caitlin Weimar capped off a 9-2 run, forcing Holy Cross to call timeout. Yet, BU still trailed 31-17 with five minutes remaining in the second quarter. 

Holy Cross went into the break leading 40-28 after making 59 percent of its shots. 

“They typically are shooting like 39 percent from the field. So to shoot that high at halftime, I think they were at like 59,” Graves said. “We talk a lot to them about trusting the process and understanding that the percentages will play out, and I think that happened a little bit in the second half.”

Holy Cross shot 1-of-6 to begin the third quarter. BU capitalized, going on a 9-3 run coming out of the break. A layup from Monteagudo sliced the deficit to six, trailing 43-37. 

But BU couldn’t crack past that six-point hole. It traded baskets, as the deficit fluctuated from six to eight points for the following three minutes. 

By the end of the third quarter, Holy Cross had built its lead back to 10. A top-of-the-key 3 from sophomore forward Meg Cahalan hit the back iron, skied into the air, and still fell through the net as the buzzer sounded. 

She followed it up with a mid-range jumper to start the fourth, stretching the Holy Cross lead to 12, the same margin it had been at halftime. 

A corner 3 from Giannaros cut the deficit to seven just over a minute later. 

That would be the last of Giannaros (18 points), however, as she fouled out on the next possession, with eight minutes remaining. 

“Our team faced a lot of adversity with Kelsi going down, who helps us a lot, and also (Giannaros) fouling out,” said Weimar. “So I feel I’m like really proud of my teammates for just stepping up. I think everybody knew what was at hand.”

BU initially struggled without Giannaros, its second-leading scorer. A driving layup from Kaitlyn Flanagan gave Holy Cross a 63-55 lead with 4:45 remaining. But a media timeout 20 seconds later gave the Terriers a chance to regroup. 

“We talked about, in the fourth quarter, to lock down defensively. And we talked about taking it one possession at a time because we had that deficit, to try to get a stop, score, stop, and get that in succession,” Graves said. 

The stops were no issue. BU held Holy Cross scoreless for the final 4:45. 

The scores didn’t come until the 2:37 mark. But once they arrived, BU was as close to perfect as it will ever be. 

“I think it was just a refocus piece and you know, a will to win,” Graves said.

A turnaround jumper from senior guard Sophie Benaventine cut it to six. A Weimar layup on the next possession cut it four. And with one minute left, BU cut it to one. 

Monteagudo launched a 3 from the right wing but left it short. Holy Cross sophomore guard Simone Foreman came away with it in the corner but was immediately swallowed up by a trap from Benaventine and freshman wing Audrey Ericksen. Benaventine ripped the ball away, earning BU an extra possession. 

It led to another Monteagudo 3, and this time she found the bottom of the net. 


Another stop led to BU’s go-ahead possession: Weimar’s three-point play. 

And from there, the Terriers were able to close it out with two crucial stops. Holy Cross had a last-second look, but senior guard Cara McCormack’s 3 glanced off the iron. 

“To be able to come back and fight with that slow of a start that we had, I’m just so so proud,” Graves said. “And to do it on senior night for our seniors who have committed so much to the program, I’m really happy to get this win for them, especially.”

With the victory, BU moves into a three-way tie atop the Patriot League standings with one game remaining in the regular season. 

BU will travel to Hamilton, N.Y. to face Colgate (16-12, 9-8 PL) on Wednesday. With a win, it will earn at least a share of the regular season title and could end up as the 1-seed in the Patriot League tournament. 

But for now, BU will cherish this thrilling win. A win to celebrate the seniors. 

“They’ve done so much on the floor for us,” Graves said. “I really have loved just seeing the growth of them, you know, all together in their past few years here.”