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Women’s B-ball Presses for a Championship

Women’s b-ball met the UMass Minutewomen at Case in November

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cheriraffo.jpg

Women’s basketball tricaptain Cheri Raffo (SAR’08) started every game during her first three seasons at BU.

In 2007 the women’s basketball Terrierswere knocked out of the America East quarterfinals by BinghamtonUniversity. But that was last March, and the team isn’t dwelling on thepast.

With point guard and tricaptain Christine Kinneary (CAS’09)and seven other upperclassmen leading the way, the Terriers areexpecting a different outcome this spring. “Our goal from day one is towin the conference and get to the NCAA tournament,” says Kinneary. “Butthere are no gimme games or automatic wins. We need to get mentallyprepared for every game.”

BU started the season this month with apair of wins, against Rhode Island and Siena. After falling to OhioState, the team rallied against Northeastern, beating its crosstownrival 94-84. Aly Hinton (CAS’10) hit a career-high 35 points — thefirst time since March 2005 that a Terrier has scored 30 or more pointsin a game — and Kinneary tied a single-game school record for assists,with 14.

After three home games, the Terriers took to the roadfor a Thanksgiving tournament at the University of North Carolina atGreensboro. They defeated UNC 69-42, but fell to North Carolina A&T62-54 the next night. Tonight, with a 4-2 record so far this season,they’ll take on the University of Massachusetts Minutewomen in the CaseCenter at 7 p.m., then play six more nonconference games in Decemberbefore meeting up with Hartford in the America East conference openeron January 5 on their home court.

The season only gets tougher.The Hartford contest begins a string of 16 straight conference games.“It’s going to be challenging,” says Kelly Greenberg, now in her fourthyear as coach.

The team will meet the challenge with full-courtpressure. Greenberg has used the press off and on in the past, but thisyear it is a key defensive tactic. “We’re focusing on really botheringthe other team in the full court,” she says. “We have nice depth on ourbench, so we can do it.”

On offense the Terriers will work theball around to a variety of players instead of relying on one or twokey scorers. Greenberg says the squad is more athletic than past teams.“Our strength is much better,” she says. “The girls are communicatingbetter with each other, with the coaches. It’s a really feel-goodenvironment.”

Joining Kinneary around the perimeter aretricaptain Cheri Raffo (SAR’08) and Amarachi Umez-Eronini (SAR’09),with Kristi Dini (CGS’07, SAR’09) and Corinne Jean (COM’08) providingdepth at the guard position.

In the paint are Hinton andtricaptain Kasey Devine (CGS’06, SMG’08), with Jesyka Burks-Wiley(CAS’09), Maggie McKemie (SMG’09), and Kristen Folk (CGS’08, SHA’10)lending support. Freshmen Kerry Cashman (CGS’09), Krystyn McIntyre(CAS’11), and Kat Briggs (ENG’11) are playing solidly as well,Greenberg says.

Raffo, who started every game her first threeseasons and hopes to continue her streak, says her team has depth.“People are really stepping up and everyone is scoring,” she says.“It’s hard to stop five people when all are a threat.”

Greenberghopes that holds true into the America East tournament. “I really hopethat we’re healthy,” she says. “We are feeling good about the games wejust played, and we’re improving from game to game.”

Abby Jordan can be reached at ajordan@bu.edu.

 

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