Lawrence High School graduate Nia Irving reached a milestone at Boston University, scoring her 1,000th career point in a 72-66 victory over Army on Jan. 12 in West Point, New York.

The 6-foot-1 senior forward became the 23rd player in program history to reach the mark, which came on a free-throw with 3:21 left in the second half. The last Terrier to reach 1,000 points was Rashidat Agboola, who achieved the feat during the 2013-2014 season.

“It’s just an honor to be listed in the same category as all those other women who have scored their 1,000th point at BU,” Irving said. “I really just had to put in the time over the four years here and in that aspect, it kind of paid off.”

Boston University forward and Lawrence graduate Nia Irving goes up for a shot during a Dec. 7 game against the California Golden Bears in Berkeley, California. Irving recently scored her 1,000th point with the Terriers. Al Sermeno – KLC fotos/Boston University Athletics

In 17 games this season, Irving is third on the team in scoring, averaging 9.6 points per game. She’s also second in rebounds, averaging 5.4 per game. Her best offensive outing of the season thus far came in a homecoming against Maine on Nov. 17 at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, a 62-49 victory. In that game, Irving scored 20 points and grabbed nine rebounds.

“It was great,” Irving said. “It was just really nice to have friends and family that might not have been able to come see me play in Boston, make the drive up to UMO to see me play. I was just really appreciative of everyone who showed up for their support.”

Irving — who led Lawrence to a Class A state title in 2015 and was the 2015 Maine Gatorade Player of the Year — has earned all-conference honors in each of her three previous seasons with the Terriers. She was named to the Patriot League all-rookie team after the 2016-2017 season, a Patriot League third-team member after her sophomore year and All-Patriot League second team honors last season.

Irving said her biggest hurdle in making the jump from Maine high school basketball to the Division I ranks was learning different roles on the floor. On any given night, Irving can have a different role for the Terriers.

“I have to do different things with each game that we play,” Irving said. “Some nights, I’m not going to be a scorer, I’m going to be a passer, or I’m just going to be a rebounder.”

The Terriers (8-9 overall, 3-3 in the Patriot League) are fifth in the conference. After a 3-6 start to the season, BU has won five of its last eight games.

“We had a really tough preseason schedule and I think it kind of helped us get ready for conference play,” Irving said. “This year, more than any other year that I’ve been here, it’s more of a wide open field. I think any team in this conference can beat each other on any given night. I think it’s just a matter of showing up as the most prepared team every night and I know we have a really young team, but I’ve seen us take steps in the right direction with each game that we’ve played.”

 

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Irving is not the only area basketball player to hit the 1,000-point club recently.

University of Maine at Farmington guard Isaac Witham reached the milestone mark midway through a 94-76 victory over Lasell on Jan. 4 in Farmington. Witham — a senior and Skowhegan graduate — reached his 1,000th point after nailing four free throws in a row.

In 14 games this season, Witham is averaging 11.1 points per game, falling right in line with his career average of 11.3 points per game during his career at UMF. Witham’s field goal percentage (41.2 percent) and 3-point percentage (40.4 percent) are right near his career averages as well.

The Beavers (13-3, 6-0 in the North Atlantic Conference) sit atop the league.

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The surprise of the season might be the turnaround of the Thomas College women’s basketball team.

After starting the season 3-8, the Terriers are 4-1 in January. With a 6-0 conference record, Thomas is second in the NAC, just behind UMF (9-7, 6-0). Thomas has already improved from last season, when it finished with a 6-19 (5-9 NAC) record.

Junior forward Addie Brinkman — a Farmington native and Mt. Blue graduate — has been the Terriers’ leading scorer, averaging 11.8 points per game. She also leads the team in rebounds with 7.3 boards per game. Senior center Malorie Weaver — an Erskine Academy graduate — follows Brinkman offensively, adding 11.6 points per game.

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