During a snowstorm that caused all classes to be cancelled, Boston College students will now have another reason to rejoice from inside the warmth of their dorms, as women’s basketball held off North Carolina in Chapel Hill Thursday night. The Eagles won by a score of 88-77 to snap their dreary 10-game skid.
BC (9-16, 2-10 Atlantic Coast) jumped out to an early lead behind the sharpshooting of senior Kelly Hughes, who had as many points in the first quarter (11) as the entire Tar Heels (13-11, 2-9) squad. Hughes, who finished the game with a team-high 24 points, shot an electric 7-for-10 from beyond the arc and 8-for-12 overall. She reached yet another career milestone in the second quarter of the contest as she scored her 1,500th career point as an Eagle.
Sophomore Mariella Fasoula added great defense and inside play, scoring 13 points with seven rebounds and a block. Thanks to its strong inside-out game, BC found itself up on the undersized Tar Heels by a score of 41-26 at the half. The Tar Heels started off uncharacteristically cold shooting just 18.2 percent from 3-point range in the first half, compared to 44.4 percent for BC.
Believe it or not, things got even worse for the Tar Heels after the break as the Eagles rained down a storm of three-pointers inside Carmichael Arena. Hughes passed the torch on to freshman Taylor Ortlepp. Ortlepp, who was scoreless in the first half, exploded early in the third quarter hitting four 3-pointers. Ortlepp would ultimately finish with 19 second-half points, four rebounds, and three assists. Senior Emilee Daley also heated up in the second half adding nine points off the bench to the Eagles’ ledger as they expanded their lead to a game-high 23 points in the third.
Heading into the fourth, BC held a 72-52 lead over UNC. The Tar Heels made a late push to close the gap with around seven minutes left in the contest when Stephanie Watts made a key block on Fasoula, which resulted in Jamie Cherry converting the ensuing fastbreak into an and-one to bring the Eagles lead down to just nine points. Cherry, who quietly had a very good game, led all scorers with 31 points as she shot 10-for-20 from the field. While UNC had seemingly begun to turn things around, it was too little too late for the Tar Heels as Hughes brought the lead back up to 15 with a dagger from 3-point range late in the fourth. Paris Kea also had a nice game for the Tar Heels as she scored 22 points and added six rebounds and four steals.
The Eagles finished the game with a stunning 62.5 percent mark from 3-point range—in comparison, the Tar Heels hit just 30 percent of their shots beyond the arc. In addition to some great shooting performances by Hughes and Ortlepp, freshman Emma Guy tallied a double-double off the bench with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Freshman Georgia Pineau also added 11 big rebounds for the Eagles.
With an impressive showing by BC in which team defense and stellar shooting from the perimeter proved the difference, the Eagles finally added a much-needed second ACC win to their 2016-17 resume.
Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Editor