With flu season at hand, it seems everyone is fighting to stay healthy. Boston College women’s basketball headed to Indiana on Sunday to fight a virus of a different kind, No. 4 Notre Dame.
BC had an 0-9 record at Purcell Pavilion entering the game, but hoped for a different result this time around. The Eagles anticipated a challenge, as the Fighting Irish are the top offensive team in the ACC. BC put up its best fight but the infection proved too difficult, resulting in a 104-58 loss.
Right away, the Eagles struggled to break down the ND defense. The Fighting Irish stuck to BC players like glue. This allowed them to steal the ball and score transition baskets. Brianna Turner helped ND pull away, scoring five points in the first two minutes, and giving her team a 7-0 lead. It appeared the virus was going to infect the Eagles and spread fast.
Fortunately for the Eagles, freshman Ashley Kelsick scored to put her team on the board. BC’s defense continued to struggle to halt ND’s offense, allowing easy buckets for the Irish’s wide-open players. Kelsick and Nicole Boudreau each scored a 3-pointer to keep BC in the game early by a score of 17-13.
The Irish Virus kicked in on the Eagles’ offense after a shot clock violation sparked a 17-0 run for ND. Kelsick’s triple stopped the bleeding momentarily—however, the Fighting Irish still stretched their lead to a whopping 27 points.
Coach Erik Johnson was forced to call a timeout to see if BC could find a remedy for the bug that was infecting its game to little avail. The Eagles continued to miss rebounds, cause turnovers, and commit costly fouls. ND’s Hannah Huffman took advantage of BC’s miscues, making two steals that resulted in transition layups both times.
With two minutes left in the half, the Fighting Irish were up by 33. Jewell Lloyd rushed the ball down court and faced three BC defenders. She effortlessly dribbled past all of them and sunk her layup. Boudreau responded with a layup of her own to decrease the Irish’s lead with a score of 58-24.
In the first half, BC coughed up the ball nonstop, producing 16 turnovers. The struggle inside caused the team to make nine field goals, six of which were 3-pointers. This frustration resulted in 13 personal fouls in comparison to Notre Dame’s clean slate. To come over the 34-point defect, the Eagles needed to think things over and find a cure.
There seemed to be hope when Kelly Hughes came out in the second half and scored two threes, making it a 63-30 game. But ND sped up the pace and gained its biggest lead of the game with a 39-point edge.
The Eagles continued to battle hard but missed every attempted shot and were incapable of making it into the paint. Kat Cooper made two trips to the line and was able to make one foul shot in her second appearance. This ended ND’s 25-0 scoring streak, making it a 78-31 game
BC’s Karima Gabriel then made her first bucket of the day to complement her 10 rebounds. Emilee Daley and Hughes each made a 3-pointer but the Irish would not slow down their game. The Eagles continued to fight but with a 49-point deficit with eight minutes to go, it seemed like Notre Dame had taken over.
BC battled to the finish, but could not to stop ND from passing the 100-point mark. The Eagles were too late with their final run, but with 26 turnovers, a comeback never seemed obtainable. The Fighting Irish were too much for the Eagles to handle.
If the Eagles want to turn around their 0-3 conference record and compete in the ACC this season, they’ll have to quickly rebound from the painful loss.