Martina Mosetti set career highs in points, minutes, field goal attempts, and free throw attempts to help push Boston College women’s basketball to an overtime comeback win over the University of New Hampshire, which ended, 64-55, in the Eagles’ favor.
But at halftime, BC (5-6) looked like it had given the game away to UNH (7-4), and head coach Erik Johnson knew it.
“I thought we were really weak in the first half,” Johnson said. “ There were so many opportunities that we didn’t take advantage of.
BC jumped out to a 12-4 lead with two minutes to go in the first quarter, but only scored eight more points over the course of the next 12 minutes of game time, while giving up 25 on the other end. The Eagles turned the ball over 11 times through the first 20 minutes of play, and UNH got 14 points off of those giveaways through two quarters. What had been an early eight-point lead ended up becoming a nine-point halftime deficit. The Wildcats also put up six second-chance points, while the BC only put up six points in the entire second quarter. As the horn sounded for halftime, Mosetti only had a single point and a single shot.
That changed in the second half. Mosetti put up nine points on seven shots, and according to Johnson, provided a “big spark” to get the Eagles offense back in gear. Guard Taylor Ortlepp shot 4-of-9 from 3-point land, logging 15 points on the day and drawing swarms of defenders, taking pressure off her teammates on offense.
That effort paid off in the fourth quarter. In order for BC to prevail, it needed a big performance out of Milan Bolden-Morris. Through three quarters, she hadn’t delivered. The freshman struggled to make an impact, only recording two points.
In the fourth though, the young forward caught fire, specifically from beyond the arc. At the end of the third, the Eagles trailed UNH, 40-33, but looked to be on the brink of breaking through tightening the score. Mosetti and Ortlepp were keeping the team in the game, as Georgia Pineau and Katie Quandt were plagued by foul trouble, reducing how aggressive they could be down low. Pineau in particular didn’t have quite the offensive performance fans are beginning to expect from her, since she finished with “only” 10 points, but she was primarily responsible for filling the shoes of injured center Emma Guy. As the game went on, Pineau shifted from a scorer to a rebounder, pulling down 12 in total. That left Bolden-Morris with the responsibility to bring BC back, and she was up to the task.
The forward put up 14 points in the fourth quarter, going 5-of-6 from the field and 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. Her last two 3-pointers of the period, which came with three minutes to go in the fourth, gave BC its first lead since early in the second quarter. Wildcats guard Brittni Lai spun a difficult layup home after UNH got ahold of three offensive rebounds in the final two minutes to tie the game at 52, and neither team could break the deadlock before time expired.
BC quickly pulled away in overtime. The Eagles ended up holding the Wildcats to just 30 percent shooting, and only turned the ball over three times in the last ten minutes of game time.
Johnson credited the defensive effort to the preparation the team has put in in the lead up to the game and over the course of the season.
“One of the things that we talked about in practice this week and certainly we reemphasized today is that when you trust the process and when you fall in love with the process that the results will come,” Johnson said. “When you make a team take difficult shots over hands, they miss.”
Mosetti attributed the defensive execution to BC’s post players, whose excellent communication down the stretch stifled UNH. The group’s defensive work led to the Wildcats scoring just three points in five minutes of overtime. The Eagles scored 12, capping off the performance of the season.
After this win, Johnson can see a road to success for this team.
“They look like they’re having fun playing basketball together, and when we’re doing that, the results will follow.”
The victory pulls BC to within a game of .500. The comeback showcased the Eagles’ ability to rebound effectively. Coming off a blowout loss to Seton Hall and failing to score double-digit points in the second quarter, BC was in danger of getting thumped if it wasn’t able to regroup in the second half. Individual performances in the final frames earned the Eagles the win. According to Mosetti, every single one of them knew that they were due.
“I would say not just in the overtime, but throughout the whole game, we just knew that we were not going to lose,” she said. “We talked about it during shootaround, we just knew we were tired of losing, and the way we were going to win was together.”
Through two quarters of play, it certainly didn’t look like the win was within BC’s grasp. The second-half performance had to be perfect on both ends of the floor, in order to turn the tide, and the Eagles managed to pull it off. The second quarter may have been the worst of their season so far, but the second half exhibited BC’s ceiling.
Now, it’s a question of which team BC is going to be for the rest of the season: the team that gave up over 20 points in a quarter while scoring less than 10, or the team that outscored its opponent in an overtime period with the game on the line by nine.
Featured Image by Kaitlin Meeks / Heights Staff