Feb. 24, 2012
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The Boston University women’s basketball team travels to Hartford on Saturday, Feb. 25, for the final game of the regular season. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. in the Reich Family Pavilion in West Hartford, Conn. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.
BU enters Saturday’s game coming off a 61-56 win against UMBC on Wednesday night to improve to 21-7 (14-1 AE) on the season. Sophomore forward Rashidat Agboola posted a double-double with a career-high 24 points and 11 rebounds while senior Caroline Stewart added 13 points and nine rebounds. Junior Chantell Alford also reached double-digits with 10 points.
Alford is the Terriers’ leading scorer with 12.8 points per game while junior Mo Moran ranks second with 10.6 ppg and Agboola is third with 10.2 ppg. As a team, BU averages 60.0 ppg while shooting 37.3 percent from the field.
Hartford enters the final game of the regular season with a 19-10 overall record and 10-5 mark in America East play. The Hawks are currently riding an eight-game winning streak, the longest active streak in the conference. Hartford most recently defeated Stony Brook on the road, 49-42, on Wednesday night. In the first meeting between BU and Hartford this season, the Terriers defeated the Hawks, 53-46, at Case Gym on Jan. 22.
Three players average double-digits in scoring for Hartford with junior forward Ruthanne Doherty leading the way with 12.7 points. Junior forward Nikkia Smith and junior guard Daphne Elliott, rank second and third, with 10.7 ppg and 10.4 ppg, respectively. Doherty is also Hartford’s top rebounder with 6.4 boards per game. As a team, the Hawks average 56.9 points per game and are shooting .391 percent from the field.
The Terriers and Hawks have a long and storied history together and in recent years the teams have only added to it, meeting in three of the last seven America East championship games. BU took the lead in the all-time series, 30-29, in the team’s first meeting this season, a 53-46 Terriers’ victory on Jan. 22.
Last season, BU defeated Hartford in the first meeting last season, a 58-50 decision at home on Jan. 23, 2011, before Hartford claimed the game on their home court, 66-59, on Feb. 13. The two teams then met again in the America East title game at Case Gym on March 12, 2011, and the fourth-seed Hawks knocked off the second-seeded Terriers, 66-53, as Hartford earned the conference’s automatic NCAA tournament bid.
With their 14-1 record in America East action, BU can capture the regular-season title on Saturday with a victory at Hartford. It would mark the first time since the 2008-09 season that the Terriers clinched the regular-season crown. BU also earned the title in the 1987-88 season. Should the Terriers lose to Hartford, both BU and Albany would end the season with 14-2 marks in conference play, but Albany would hold the tie-breaker (better road record). Therefore, Albany would earn the No. 1 seed in next week’s conference tournament while the Terriers would take the No. 2 seed.
The Terriers will return to Hartford next week for the 2012 America East Tournament. If BU clinches the No. 1, it will open tournament play against the winner of No. 8 Maine vs. No. 9 Stony Brook on Friday, March 2 at 12:05 p.m. If BU is the No. 2 seed, it will play No. 7 Vermont on Friday, March 2 at 6:05 p.m.