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Winter 2008 Table of Contents

Pressing for a Championship

Women's basketball team is ready for conference action

| From Commonwealth | By Abby Jordan (COM'08)

Women's basketball tricaptain Cheri Raffo (SAR'08) taking the ball to the hoop against Brown. Raffo started every game of her first three seasons at BU. Photo by Rob Klein

In 2007 the women’s basketball Terriers were knocked out of the America East quarterfinals by Binghamton University. But that was last March, and the team isn’t dwelling on the past.

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

BU started the season in November with a pair of wins, against Rhode Island and Siena. After falling to Ohio, the team rallied against Northeastern, beating its crosstown rival 94-84. Aly Hinton (CAS’10) hit a career-high thirty-five points, and Kinneary tied a single-game school record for assists, with fourteen.

After the three home games, the Terriers took to the road for a Thanksgiving tournament at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. They defeated UNC but lost to North Carolina A&T the following night. The team faced seven more nonconference games in December before taking on Hartford in the America East conference opener in January.

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

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

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

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

In the paint are Hinton and tricaptain 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 three seasons 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.”

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

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