Feb. 5, 2014
BOSTON, Mass. - In a game of spurts, the Navy women's basketball team put together the first and final ones to come away with a 68-57 victory over Boston University Wednesday night at Case Gymnasium in Boston, Mass.
"We won a big game on the road against a good team while not shooting well," said Navy head coach Stefanie Pemper.
After the Terriers (8-16, 3-8 Patriot League) scored the opening four points of the game, the Mids (18-4, 10-1) scored 22 of the next 23 points to build a 22-5 lead with eight minutes remaining in the half.
"A big part of that run was good defense," said Pemper. "They are a great three-point shooting team, but we defended the three-point line well."
Navy struggled from the field over the remainder of the stanza -- 4 of 16 from the floor, including 1 of 11 from three-point range -- as Boston U. closed to within as few as 11 points before the teams went into the locker rooms with Navy holding a 31-18 lead.
The Terriers scored the opening points of the second half to cut the margin down to 10 points, then three-point field goals on the next three possessions by Chloe Stapleton (Jr., Cary, N.C.), Alix Membreno (Sr., Loxahatchee, Fla.) and Stapleton again -- boosted the Mids out to a 40-21 lead three minutes into the frame.
Despite having numerous good looks at the basket, Navy again struggled from the floor for a little while. Meanwhile, the Terriers slowly started to heat up on their end of the court and soon the Mids saw their lead cut to 45-41 with 9:33 remaining in the game.
Membreno scored on a layup on Navy's next possession to give Navy a six-point lead. Each team came away from their next two trips down the court without scoring, then Mollie McKendrick scored on an inside shot to cut the margin back down to four points at 47-43 with a little more than eight minutes left on the clock.
Stapleton promptly drained another three-point shot on Navy's ensuing time with the ball, then Jade Geif
(Sr., Lakeville, Minn.), gave the ball back to the Mids with a steal. That led to Audrey Bauer
(Sr., Lake Zurich, Ill.) sinking a shot in the paint to give Navy a 52-43 lead. A timeout by the Terriers was followed by Stapleton grabbing a defensive carom after a missed trey by Boston U., with Stapleton immediately sinking her fourth three-point shot of the half and sixth of the game on the other end of the floor to boost the Mids out to a 55-43 advantage with 6:33 remaining. Neither team scored for the next two minutes, but Navy broke that span when Membreno fed Geif for an easy bucket under the basket to cap a 10-0 run by the Mids and give Navy a 57-43 cushion with 4:46 left to play.
"To withstand that run and make the plays we had to make was huge," said Pemper.
The Terriers would close to as little as eight points twice, with the latter occurrence coming at 60-52 with 1:17 left to play, but the Mids sealed the game by sinking 8 of 10 attempts from the foul line.
Boston U. actually outshot Navy from the field -- 40.0%-35.4% -- and the Terriers made one more field goal than the Mids did ¬¬¬¬-- 24-23 -- but Navy made 10 three-point field goals (28.6%) to just five for Boston U. (23.8%) and the Mids were 12 of 18 from the foul line while the Terriers were 4 of 10.
"I thought we had good looks," said Pemper. "We just didn't shoot it well."
Aiding Navy's effort was it snaring 17 offensive boards to just nine for Boston U. and holding an overall advantage on the glass of 47-37. The Mids also registered 11 steals to five for the Terriers.
"We made some big defensive plays when they cut into our lead," said Pemper.
Both Stapleton and Membreno posted 18 points on the night, with Kara Pollinger (Sr., Fort Gay, W.Va.) scoring 11. Bauer finished with just five points, but finished with 11 boards.
"Chloe had a great game," said Pemper, "both shooting and rebounding (seven boards). Alix had a really nice game doing the things she can do.
Boston U.'s Rashidat Agboola led all players in the game with 19 points, while McKendrick grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds to go along with 16 points.
Navy will take to the road again Saturday with a 1:30 p.m. game at Army. That contest will be televised live on the CBS Sports Network.