Eagles Drop ACC Opener at Virginia Tech

Boston College women's basketball

It’s been a dreadful holiday season for Boston College women’s basketball—a team that, entering the weekend, had lost four of its six games in the month of December. On New Year’s Eve, BC traveled to Virginia Tech, trying to move past Thursday’s 21-point loss to Maine. Instead, the Eagles took another step back. Although BC put up a fight in the first half, it was the Hokies who came away with a blowout win on their home court, pulling away with exceptional offensive performances in the final three quarters to defeat the Eagles, 89-58.

The Eagles (5-9, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) were just two points shy of matching their season scoring average, but VTech (12-3, 1-1) put on a shooting clinic to put the game out of reach by the fourth period.

In the first quarter, the teams were on pace to go toe-to-toe, from start to finish. BC led for a bit more than two minutes during the frame and made its first four shots to jump out to an early lead. A late Hokies run propelled VTech to a three-point lead by the end of the frame. Still, the Hokies looked out of sorts, shooting just 27 percent from the field.

BC failed to get a shot off in the last two and a half minutes of the quarter and shot 1-of-6 to close the period—signs of what was to come for head coach Erik Johnson’s team—but the poor offensive effort from Virginia Tech kept the game close.

Things didn’t exactly fall apart for the Eagles in the second quarter either. Emma Guy scored six points and grabbed two rebounds to set the pace for BC, but the Hokies really began to pull things together on the offensive end. They shot 8-of-17 from the floor and took a 10-point lead, thanks to Taylor Emery and Chanette Hicks, who each scored 5 points in the frame, guiding their team to a 37-27 halftime lead.

But, as far as BC’s concerned, everything went downhill from that point forward. Behind Emery and Michelle Berry, who combined for 22 points in the third quarter, VTech distanced itself from BC. At the end of the period, Guy was the only Eagle to reach double figures, and BC found itself down, 62-38. In one quarter, the Hokies’ field goal percentage skyrocketed to 44.4 percent on the day, and the Eagles’ dropped from 45.5 percent to a shade above 40.

After briefly losing its 20-point lead with just under six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, VTech buried the Eagles with a trio of 3-pointers. The Hokies went 10-of-15 in the final quarter, and 3-of-5 from beyond the arc, completely overwhelming a helpless BC defense. The Eagles recorded 20 points in the final frame, marking their highest-scoring quarter of the game, but the effort was far too little, far too late.

The Hokies finished the game shooting 50 percent from the field and 36.4 percent from downtown. The Eagles ended up shooting 44.2 percent from the floor on the day, but were outrebounded 38 to 24—surrendering 11 offensive rebounds—and turned the ball over an astounding 20 times. Those differences proved to be the distinction between a VTech team at the top of its game and a BC team struggling to find its own.

Fortunately for the Eagles, Guy wasn’t the only one to make a name for herself in the box score. Milan Bolden-Morris scored nine points in the fourth quarter alone to bring her total to 17 for the game. But on the other side of things, Taylor Ortlepp went down late with an injury and did not return to the game. With a little over seven minutes remaining in the game, she drove to the hoop and was fouled on the way up—but on her way down, she landed awkwardly on her left leg. She couldn’t even attempt the free throw and was seen limping down the floor during postgame handshakes.

In addition, Andie Anastos and Martina Mosetti struggled throughout the game, as both were unable to get a single shot to fall. Anastos was in foul trouble all game, and Mosetti wasn’t able to provide any offense in her stead. Sydney Lowery floundered as well, getting up just three shots of her own and converting just one.

The Hokies clearly had a defensive game plan they were able to execute to a T: shut down the Eagles’ best offensive players—Georgia Pineau and Ortlepp went a combined 7-of-21 from the field, while Bolden-Morris couldn’t find her game until late—and create takeaways. BC coughed up four more turnovers than it averaged coming into the game, and VTech cruised to an easy victory. On the other side, BC finds itself stumbling into 2018 on a three-game losing streak and searching for answers.

Featured Image by Lizzy Barrett / Heights Editor

Jack Goldman
About Jack Goldman 105 Articles
Jack Goldman is the news editor for The Heights. Once upon a time, he was one of the copy editors. Through heavy duty recent investigative reporting, he recently fell back in love with lime popsicles and baked barbecue Lays chips. Don't follow him on Twitter @the_manofgold, but do email him: [email protected]