Rebounding and Turnovers Doom Women’s Basketball Against Georgia Tech

Mariella Fasoula

Seventy-four percent. That is the percentage of field goals scored by Boston College women’s basketball that come off assists, good enough for tops in the country. This proficiency at sharing the ball is confounding when considering that the team struggles so much with turnovers. The trademark team-first style of the Eagles (13-8, 1-7 Atlantic Coast) mixed with turnovers made Sunday afternoon a frustrating one as they fell to Georgia Tech (13-9, 3-6) 62-56.

While the Eagles were sharing the ball well, it was the defensive side of the floor, specifically defensive rebounding, and, once again, turnovers, where BC fell apart. Just a simple glance at the box score tells so much of the story about the game. Key markers of success seem to point to a BC win as it shot 50 percent from the field while Tech shot just 35 percent. Where the Eagles fell apart was on the backboards. The Yellow Jackets piled up 17 offensive rebounds and outrebounded the Eagles by 10 for the game. There were simply too many second chances for the Yellow Jackets. Giving up that many second chances kills a game, no matter how well you shoot.

“We had so many key stops, but it’s not a stop until you actually control the rebound,” head coach Erik Johnson told BCEagles.com after the game“So, the focus with our players is gonna be grabbing that ball with two hands, tearing it away. If we had done that a few more times, this is our game going away.”

The game started out slow as both teams struggled to score early on. A BC lead of 2-1 persisted through the first quarter until just after the first TV timeout. Scoring remained very balanced for the Eagles throughout the first quarter, with four different players scoring. Katarina Vuckovic of Georgia Tech scored seven in the first, and she would prove to be a difficult player to stop throughout the game.

At the start of the second, Mariella Fasoula got the Eagles going with a layup. In an ACC season that has been fairly disappointing so far, Fasoula has been a real bright spot for BC. She tied her career-high with 23 points and added six rebounds. The freshman is quickly emerging as a good option for the Eagles and a solid building block for the program. The rest of the second was pretty even, as neither team could build up much of a lead to pull away from the other.

Sharp-shooting Kelly Hughes came out of the break hoping to get the Eagles going, and she hit threes on consecutive possessions to give BC a lead of three. Vuckovic hit her third 3-pointer of the day in the quarter on her way to a double double. The third quarter was very similar to the second, as neither team could pull away, and they went back and forth holding small leads. The Yellow Jackets led the game 47-44 at the end of the quarter.

Vuckovic put Tech up four at the start of the fourth with another three, and the Yellow Jackets held that lead for the rest of the game. BC kept fighting back, but it could not close the gap. Fasoula got the lead back down to two at the 6:33 mark, but a foul on the next possession gave Tech two more points. Alexa Coulombe hit a jumper at 4:43, but the Yellow Jackets had another answer to push the lead back to four. Turnovers and shooting fouls down the stretch kept BC from ever getting the lead back. Even with those, Nicole Boudreau had a chance to tie the game with 33 seconds left and just missed it off the front of the iron. The game ended with the biggest lead that either team held for the whole game: six points.

Featured Image by Amelie Trieu / Heights Editor