Meinhardt, Kovach Push Women's Basketball Past Canisius in Overtime, 73-68



BOX SCORE (.pdf)

BUFFALO, N.Y. ??? Behind a combined 46 points from two players off the bench, the Boston University women???s basketball team posted a thrilling 73-68 overtime road victory over Canisius on Wednesday evening at Koessler Athletic Center. Juniors Katie Meinhardt and Erica Kovach tallied 24 and 22 points, respectively, to help the Terriers improve to 3-1 and extend their win streak to three contests.

Kovach scored 17 of her 22 points in the first half, while Katie Meinhardt tallied 18 of her 24 points after halftime, including eight of BU's 12 points in overtime. Meinhardt missed the first two games of the year due to a preseason injury and saw her first significant action of the season on Wedneday after appearing for a nine-minute stint during BU???s win over Delaware three days ago.

The victory ended BU???s streak of six straight road losses dating back to last January. The Terriers did win all four of its neutral-site contests during the drought, but had won in an opposing gym just twice in its previous 13 tries.

The game featured 14 ties and 10 lead changes, while the largest lead of the night belonged to BU, as the visitors held a 10-point advantage in the early stages of the second half.

Senior Rachael Vanderwal and sophomore Kasey Devine each hauled in 10 rebounds apiece for the second straight contest. Vanderwal was playing in front of nearly 50 of her hometown fans, as the Canadian native grew up just over an hour west of Buffalo. Freshman Christine Kinneary dished out a game-best six assists and sophomore Cheri Raffo tied a career high with four steals.

Canisius was paced by junior Abby Radunske, who registered team highs of 17 points and nine rebounds. Freshman Amanda Cavo netted 15 points, while junior Megan Lyte chipped in with 12 points. With the loss, Canisius evened its season record at 2-2.

After both squads recorded 61 points in regulation, Lyte???s basket on the first possession of overtime provided Canisius its first lead in over five minutes of play. Meinhardt had a quick answer on the other end, connecting on a 3-pointer 57 seconds into the extra session. Nearly a minute later, Radunske converted a pair of free-throw attempts, making it 65-64 in her team???s favor, but that would be Canisius??? final lead of the night.

Two free throws by Devine helped BU reestablish the lead and following a steal by Devine on the other end, Vanderwal was fouled on a made lay-up. The senior had a chance to extend the lead to four, but came up short on her free-throw attempt.

Lamparski gave the Griffs new life with a basket at the 1:40 mark and following a missed BU 3-pointer, a foul on the Terriers put Becky Zak on the line. The senior hit the first before misfiring on the second to cause the last tie of the contest. The final five points of the night came from the hand of Meinhardt, as she went 5-of-6 from the charity stripe during the final 47 seconds to seal the victory.

BU started the game off with a strong run, as Vanderwal scored first at the 18:41 mark to kickstart a 9-2 run that included a 3-pointer from sophomore Corinne Jean. Canisius, however, made sure that its early deficit would not last, as it reeled off the next eight points to take its first lead at 10-9 with 12 minutes left in the first half.

The rest of the half featured plenty of offense on both ends, especially from Kovach. After the Griffs??? initial lead, the Terriers outscored the Griffs 14-9 during a four-minute span to take a 23-19 advantage. Kovach tallied eight points during the stretch and hit her second of three 3-pointers to cap the run. She would go on to score 12 straight BU points.

After a quick five-point spurt from the Griffs helped them take over the lead at 24-23, BU answered with nine of the next 11 points to earn what would be its largest lead of the first half at 32-26. The Terriers led by six in the final minute, but the last points before the break came on lay-up by Lyte with four seconds left, making it a 36-32 contest at the break in the visitors??? favor.

Cavo and Radunske each netted 11 points in the first half to pace the Griffs. Kovach went 6-of-7 from the floor in the first half, connecting on a trio of 3-pointers to help her tally 17 points in the final 11 minutes before the break. BU was successful on half of its 3-point attempts in the first half, going 4-of-8.

The visitors scored the first six points of the second half and held the home squad scoreless for the first 5:30 to take their first double-digit lead of the contest at 42-32.

Raffo, who got in early foul trouble, made her team???s first three field goals of the latter half before having to return to the bench after being charged with her fourth foul.

Faced with a 10-point deficit, Canisius slowly chipped away at the lead, using a 12-2 run spanning under five minutes to draw even at 44-44. The Golden Griffins took their first lead of the second half at 48-46 on a pair of free throws after entering the double-bonus with 7:55 left in regulation.

A 3-point basket by Karly Chesko gave Canisius a three-point lead at 51-48 with 6:49 remaining and the Griffs continued to take advantage of its free throws to keep the lead until Meinhardt used a fast-break jumper to give the Terriers a slim 56-55 edge with 5:16 showing on the clock. After the teams went scoreless for nearly two minutes, Raffo made 1-of-2 attempts from the charity stripe before Zak drove to the hoop and converted a lay-up to create another deadlock at 57-all.

Ignited by a 3-pointer from Meinhardt on the following possession, BU appeared to take control and went on to hold a 61-57 advantage after Devine sank one out of two chances from the free throw line with 2:51 remaining. However, that would be the visitors??? final point in regulation.

The Griffs cut the deficit to two on a lay-up from Lyte with 1:14 left and following two BU possessions that came up empty, the home squad had the ball with 16.6 seconds while trailing 61-59. Lamparski drove to the paint and slipped a ball through the defense to Radunske, who converted an open lay-in with three ticks left on the clock. A last-second heave by Vanderwal came up short and BU entered overtime for the first time since a 67-62 home victory over Binghamton on Jan. 8, 2005.

The Terriers will return to action on Saturday (Dec. 3), when they host Long Island for a 1 p.m. contest. It will be BU???s only home game during the month of December.

To purchase tickets for Terrier home games, or for more information, click here or visit the Ticket Office at 925 Commonwealth Avenue, Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., or call 617-353-GOBU (4628).



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