Boston College women’s basketball improved to 3-0 on the season with a 60-51 victory over long-time rival Holy Cross (0-3) at home on Wednesday night.
Junior Kelly Hughes continued her streak of double-digit scoring with an efficient 17-point performance, filling the stat sheet in all the right areas with five rebounds and zero turnovers. Emilee Daley chipped in 11 points off the bench, adding three crucial 3-pointers that stretched the defense and opened up the post game for freshman center Mariella Fasoula.
Fasoula, a 6-foot-4 native of Greece, was perhaps the biggest surprise for the Eagles on Wednesday, emerging from the bench and torching the Crusaders for 12 points and five boards against a solid Holy Cross interior defense.
“The post presence this year is way different,” Daley said. “It’ll open up a lot more shots because [defenses] are going to be having to sag in on the post because they’re going to be getting layups all day.”
For much of the game, Fasoula was a machine that BC would not stop feeding. Nearly all of her field goals were identical: A guard would feed her the ball deep in the paint, a low post move would give her just enough room to sneak past the defender, and she would flip her signature underhand scoop off the glass and in. It was automatic—only sometimes too automatic.
Fasoula’s instinct to turn and shoot led to many buckets for the Eagles, but it also caused her to ignore open guards along the perimeter when double teams came her way. The potentially lethal inside-out game, head coach Erik Johnson said, is still developing.
“Last year, we were a great shooting team,” he said. “This year, clearly, we’re emphasizing the inside game. But the problem is, how many times did that ball go in and it never came back out?”
When Fasoula did make the correct read, however, the result was a beautiful synthesis of the team’s strong inside presence and deadly long-range shooting from veterans Hughes and Daley.
On one particularly telling play, Fasoula received a pass on the low block and sensed a double team approaching. She immediately kicked the ball out to the open guard on the wing, who found Daley in the corner for a wide-open three.
“That was our best possession of the game for us offensively,” Johnson said. “When that happens, I really think we’re going to be able to stretch the floor in huge ways and score easy baskets inside, as well as get open threes on the perimeter.”
It wasn’t all pretty for the Eagles, though, who turned the ball over 13 times and often found themselves stuck with the shot clock winding down and little to no open looks at the basket. The offense stalled out frequently in the first half, as the guards had trouble getting the ball down low and Holy Cross shut down shots from distance.
Another bright spot for the Eagles was backup freshman point guard Stephanie Jones. Listed at a generous 5-foot-7, Jones doesn’t make it far past Fasoula’s hip, but she showed off her skill at the helm of the second team offense. Although Jones only put up two points, she tallied two assists, one steal, and, most importantly, a knack for disrupting opposing point guards with stout defense.
As for the other members of the starting five, they will have to improve their play if they want any chance of being a contender in the ACC. Hughes aside, the first team disappeared in the first half, as key scorers Ella Awobajo, Martina Mosetti, and Katie Quandt finished with a combined nine points.
While the progressing squad isn’t quite ready to take down powerhouse ACC programs at the moment, the team is finding its groove behind Kelly Hughes and the renewed inside-out game plan that has the Eagles sitting undefeated to start the season.
Featured Image by Sarah Hodgens / Heights Staff