Turnovers and consistent defensive pressure from the other team have constantly plagued Boston College women’s basketball this season. Since the beginning of conference play, they have struggled to control the basketball and, as a result, the game. Because of this recipe for failure, coupled with harsh defense from Miami, the Eagles (13-9, 1-8 Atlantic Coast) fell to the Hurricanes (19-4, 7-3), 67-62.
“The live ball turnovers, where we turn the ball over, and they get baskets from it,” head coach Erik Johnson said after the game. “Those are so hard to recover from because they are almost a 100 percent shot where they just get a run out layup. Obviously, it cost us an opportunity.”
The first half featured two vastly different quarters from the Eagles. Right from the start, BC came out looking great, opening up a quick lead on the Hurricanes. Much of that had to do with center Mariella Fasoula. The freshman has done well in the last few games, leading the Eagles in scoring against Georgia Tech and again today, en route to her 15th double figure scoring game of the season. Behind Fasoula and Kelly Hughes, BC quickly got to a 13-7 lead and did not look back from there in the first. By the 1:39 mark of the first, BC was up by 10, their biggest lead of the game. The biggest takeaway from the first quarter was BC’s ability to come out and establish its style against a very formidable opponent. With the Eagles’ preferred style of sharing the ball and executing their offense, they led 21-13 at the end of the first.
But the second quarter was far different. Miami stepped up their defensive pressure, and the turnovers started coming for the Eagles. A constant theme of the season has been BC’s difficulty in limiting its turnovers. It was almost as though Miami flipped a switch and ratcheted up the defensive pressure in the second. Miami held BC scoreless until the 5:33 mark of the second quarter when Fasoula finally converted a layup. That drought was something that BC could not afford because it allowed the Hurricanes a critical opportunity to catch up and close the deficit of the first quarter. Only Ella Awojabo stood out for the Eagles in the second quarter. She got a steal on a nice hustle play and scored a layup off of a great feed by Fasoula. Awobajo’s play was a bright spot in an otherwise disappointing second quarter that featured six BC turnovers.
The third quarter was the worst of the game for the Eagles. In the first half, the Eagles played solid defense, but that started to erode in the third quarter. BC initially came out of the intermission strong, going back and forth with Miami.The Hurricanes, however, got going toward the end of the fourth. They started to share the ball well and got scores from multiple players including star junior Adrienne Motley and point guard Jessica Thomas, two players whose versatility was crucial on the defensive side of the ball. Miami opened up a nine-point lead in the third, and it looked as if the game might be slipping away. Nicole Boudreau hit a big 3-pointer to stop the run and give the Eagles some stability.
The fourth quarter opened up with the Eagles trailing by seven. Their offense started to click the best that it had since the first quarter, and they pulled back within one of Miami. Just as BC thought they could retake the lead, freshman guard Laura Cornelius hit a crucial 3-pointer to stop the momentum. Miami soon got another trey from Motley, and the score was 58-51.
In the final four minutes, the Eagles continued to fight, but could never fully get back in the game. With a minute left and down by seven, Hughes drove left side, got fouled, and banked a shot in off the glass. After converting the free throw, the lead was down to four. Miami got the ball back and ran down the clock. Keyona Hayes, who had hit tough layups through the game, made a layup amid three Eagles, and that really put the game away. From there, BC tried to foul and catch up, but there was simply not enough time left.
BC has lost its last four games by a total of 15 points each. While the effort and passion have been there, the results have not. But with the positivity in the program, it seems like it is only a matter of time until the wins come.
Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Editor