Jan. 8, 2014
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Navy nearly doubled Boston University's rebounding total while also holding a 12-3 advantage in three-point field goals made as the Mids posted a 70-50 victory over the Terriers Wednesday night at Alumni Hall in Annapolis in the first Patriot League game played between the two women's basketball teams.
The Mids improved their league record to 3-0 and their overall mark on the year to 11-3 with the win, while the Terriers dropped to 1-2 in league play and 6-10 overall with the defeat.
"Boston University has won a ton of games the last few years," said Navy head coach Stefanie Pemper. "They are well coached and have a god tradition of winning. You saw some of that maturity tonight. They have a formidable inside game."
The first nine minutes of the game saw the two teams continually answer points scored by the other with points of their own. Navy held a 20-16 lead when Kara Pollinger (Sr., Fort Gay, W.Va.) and Chelsea Terry (So., Stafford, Va.) drained three-point field goals inside of a minute of clock time to boost the Mids out to a 26-16 lead with 10:14 left in the first half.
The Terriers answered with consecutive field goals by Rashidat Agboola and Whitney Turner to slice the margin down to six points at 26-20 with 8:53 remaining on the clock. Pollinger quickly answered with another three-point field goal on Navy's next possession. That trey ignited a 9-0 run by the Mids.
After her three-point shot, Pollinger promptly stole the ball from Turner and soon Jade Geif (Sr., Lakeville, Minn.) was fouled while attempting a shot in the lane. She connected on the first of her two free throws to make the score 30-20. After Boston U. missed a triple on its next trip down the floor, Peri Curtis (So., Coronado, Calif.) drained a three-point shot of her own for the Mids. Both teams came away empty on their next respective possession, then a missed trey by the Terriers was followed by Geif scoring on an inside move to boost the Mids out to a 35-20 lead with just over six minutes remaining before halftime.
Boston U. would outscore Navy 11-3 over the rest of the half, but the Mids still took a 38-31 advantage into the locker rooms.
Helping the Mids to their advantage was their ability to control the boards. Navy held a 28-14 advantage on the glass in the first half, including a 13-2 lead in offensive rebounds. That allowed Navy to tally 13 second-chance points and limit the Terriers to just five second-chance points.
Geif alone snared five offensive and five defensive caroms in the first half to go along with 11 points on 5 of 7 shooting from the field. Leading all players in points in the first half was Pollinger, who connected on four triples on her way to tallying 14 points.
Turner scored a bucket on the first possession of the second half to make the margin just five points, but Audrey Bauer (Sr., Lake Zurich, Ill.) sandwiched a pair of three-point field goals around a Geif free throw to extend Navy's lead out to 45-33 less than three minutes into the frame.
Navy's cushion remained 10 points at 51-41 with 10:35 showing on the clock when Alix Membreno (Sr., Loxahatchee, Fla.) scored on a jumper, Bauer drained another triple and Pollinger made a pair of free throws to give the Mids a 58-41 advantage with 8:12 left to play. The Terriers shaved five points off of that margin, but a jumper by Pollinger and another triple by Bauer gave the Mids a 63-45 lead with just over five minutes remaining in the game to essentially seal the outcome.
After holding a 28-14 lead in rebounding in the first half, Navy posted 32 second half boards and held Boston U. to 20 in the final 20 minutes of play. That gave the Mids an overall rebounding advantage of 60-34 in the game, as well as a 26-10 lead in offensive boards. The 60 overall caroms ties the Navy record for most accrued by a Navy team in a Patriot League regular season game, while the 26 offensive boards is tied for fourth in Navy history against any opponent.
Navy attempted just one more field goal than Boston U. did (60-59), but the Mids made 24 shots (40.0%) and held the Terriers to 21 made field goals (35.6%). The difference in the game was outside of the three-point arc where Navy was 12 of 29 (41.4%) and Boston U. was 3 of 20 (15.0%).
In the second half, Navy held Boston U. to 19 points on 25.8 percent shoot, which included a 0 of 11 showing from outside of the three-point line. Conversely, the Mids made 40 percent of their attempts, including 5 of 12 three-point attempts.
"Agboola is a difficult matchup for us," said Pemper. "We just don't have the perfect person to guard her. But overall, I was thrilled (with our defense). I thought they started missing some perimeter shots in the second half and the tide kind of went our way. I liked our defense, but I think they missed some shots they had made in the first half."
"I thought we had a great team defensive effort," said Pollinger. "We had a few too many fouls, especially late, but Alix did a great job on their point guard. She is always our leader on defense and I thought she played very well tonight."
Geif recorded her third double-double in four games with a 14-point, 15-rebound performance. Those 15 boards were a season high and fell just one carom short of tying her career best effort.
Pollinger played 37 minutes in the game, but made five (of nine) three-point shots, scored 23 points, snared six rebounds, dished out six assists and did not commit a turnover.
"Kara is so exhausted," said Pemper. "How many times did we set a ball screen for her, that she had to negotiate the defense and come up shooting? What an incredible game by her."
Just missing a double-double was Bauer, who drained four three-point shots on her way to posting 12 points, nine rebounds and three assists.
Agboola led the Terriers with 17 points and seven rebounds.
Navy will be back in Alumni Hall to play host to Army Saturday at 1:30 p.m. The game between the two 3-0 teams in Patriot League play will be televised live by the CBS Sports Network. The men's teams from the two schools will play at 4 p.m. Saturday, with that game also airing on the CBS Sports Network.