Jan. 22, 2013
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Video: Battle for First Place
BOSTON - The top spot in the America East is on the line when the Boston University women's basketball team hosts Albany on Wednesday (Jan. 23) at Case Gym. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.
The Terriers (16-3) and the Great Danes (14-3) both enter Wednesday's game with undefeated records in conference play, as BU is 6-0 in the America East while Albany is 5-0. The winner of Wednesday's game will move into sole possession of first place in the conference standings as the teams approach the halfway mark of league play.
Wednesday's game marks the 25th meeting between BU and Albany with the Terriers holding a 19-5 all-time advantage. However, Albany has gotten the best of BU as of late, as the Great Danes have won two of the last three meetings to halt BU's seven game winning streak in the series. Last year, the Terriers topped Albany, 58-54, on the Great Danes' home court on Jan. 16, 2012, before Albany snapped BU's 13-game winning streak and quest for an undefeated America East season with a 48-41 win at Case Gym on Feb. 18, 2012.
For the second-straight season, the Terriers enter a game against Albany with a 13-game winning streak, which is currently the third-longest streak in Division I, to stand at 16-3 overall and 6-0 in America East action. BU employs the league's second most efficient offense, with 63.2 ppg, while the defense has held opponents to 51.7 ppg, which also ranks second in the AE and 15th in Division I. BU is shooting 40.1 percent from the field while limiting opponents to a 34.5 percent clip.
BU is paced by three players that rank in the top 10 in the conference in scoring with senior Chantell Alford, the reigning America East Player of the Week, leading the way with 17.1 points per game to top the league. Junior Rashidat Agboola is sixth with 11.4 ppg while senior Mo Moran comes in at No. 10 with 10.6 ppg. Agboola also leads the league with 9.1 rebounds per game while Moran is tops with 6.3 assists per game.
The Terriers continue to have success beyond the arc, averaging 8.0 3-pointers per game to rank 13ths in Division I while their 36.9 3-point field goal percentage is 11th in the nation. Additionally, BU has limited its opponent's opportunities from the 3-point line as it boasts a 27.4 3-point field goal percentage.
Albany, the defending America East champion and preseason favorite, arrives in Boston as winners of its last six games, including a 55-48 victory over Hartford on Saturday. Overall, the Great Danes stand at 14-3 and are the only other undefeated team besides BU in America East play with a 5-0 record in the conference.
The Great Danes boast two of the conference's top five scorers in Ebone Henry (13.5 ppg) and Megan Craig (11.6 ppg) while Julie Forster is third in the league with 8.7 rpg. As a team, Albany owns the America East's best scoring offense with 66.6 ppg and the top scoring defense by allowing 49.0 ppg. The Great Danes have outscored their opponents by a margin of 17.6 points with all 14 of their victories coming by double-digit margins.
Albany is shooting 43.7 percent from the floor while holding its opponents to a 32.5 percent mark. Additionally, the Great Danes lead the league in several other statistical categories including rebounding (43.2 rpg), rebounding margin (+11.6), assists (15.4 apg) and steals (11.9 spg).
BU closes out the first half of the America East schedule on Saturday (Jan. 26) when the Terriers visit UMBC. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. in Baltimore, Md.