Sunday, March 1, 2009

Women's Basketball Live Blog: University of Maine vs. Boston University

After handing the University of Hartford its first home conference loss since Feb. 19, 2005, the first-place Terriers look to improve to 14-0 in America East today when they host the Black Bears for a 12 p.m.
tip-off. BU is just one of seven teams in the country that is still undefeated in its conference.

With a win, the Terriers would clinch a share of the regular-season title (their first since 1988), the top seed in the conference tournament and a spot in postseason play (the America East regular-season champ earns an automatic bid in the NIT if it fails to qualify for the NCAA Tournament).

BU's senior class (the winningest class in program history) has carried the team all season. In Tuesday night's 80-75 overtime thriller, it was veteran point guard Christine Kinneary's turn to step up and take charge. The Plainedge, N.Y. native netted a career-high 27 points (including eight in overtime), pulled down a career-high nine rebounds and dished out six assists.

At the other end of the court, the Black Bears find themselves tied with the University at Albany for last in America East with a 2-12 conference record. With a loss, Maine would lock itself into the 8 vs.
9 play-in game in the America East Tournament.

In their last meeting on Jan. 24, the Terriers downed the Black Bears in Orono, 87-72. Senior forward Jesyka Burks-Wiley poured in a career-high 32 points to go along with 13 rebounds. Classmates Kristi Dini and Amarachi Umez-Eronini added 19 and 17 points, respectively.

Burks-Wiley will be wearing a protective facemask after fracturing the tip of her nose against Hartford. No America East team has gone undefeated in conference play since Maine in 2002-03. The Terriers lead the conference in scoring (72.6 points per game), field-goal percentage (.430), free-throw percentage (.729) and turnover margin (+3.12). The Black Bears are last in the conference in scoring (51.6 ppg), scoring margin (-15.7), field-goal percentage (.346) and turnover margin (-6.41). Junior forward Brittany Boser leads Maine in scoring (10.3 ppg) and rebounding (5.0 rpg).

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