Eagles Go Cold from Field, Drop Fourth-Straight Game

Boston College women's basketball

Last season, Boston College women’s basketball erased a 14-point halftime deficit to Miami, storming all the way back to take a lead with three minutes left. The Hurricanes rallied to escape with a seven-point win in a matchup that wasn’t lacking in drama. 

This season’s edition, however, lacked the same fireworks.

The Eagles (6-13, 1-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) fell behind by 20 at halftime and weren’t able to find a second gear, trailing by as much as 28 en route to a blowout loss. The Hurricanes (14-6, 4-3) forced 20 turnovers en route to the convincing 65-43 win, BC’s fourth loss in a row.

Miami set the tone early, taking a nine-point lead in the first quarter—one that the Hurricanes held for the entirety of the game. The Eagles struggled to find a rhythm in the opening period and appeared overmatched by Miami’s Imposing athleticism, depth, and defensive prowess. The Hurricanes didn’t let up in the following frame either. Led by Kelsey Marshall, Miami strung together a 9-5 run to start the quarter, extending its lead to 13. Meanwhile, BC couldn’t buy a basket for the majority of the period. The Eagles’ second-quarter offense was fueled by Georgia Pineau, who would go on to eclipse the 400-point mark in her career. The sophomore ended up logging six of BC’s 10 points during the frame.

Down by 20 at the half, the Eagles had a steep hill to climb—and it was about to get more daunting. After trading scores to open the third, Miami went on a 9-2 run, continuing to build an insurmountable lead. It reached a peak midway through the fourth, when guard Shaneese Bailey laid in a bucket to bring the lead to 28 points.

The Hurricanes took their foot off the gas pedal and the Eagles closed on a 10-4 run, but still lost by 20-plus points. Four of the five conference losses for BC have been decided by double-digit margins.

The Eagles looked overmatched and out-hustled against a determined Miami team. Their perimeter defense was lackluster at best, allowing seven 3-pointers on over 40 percent shooting. Miami’s Sarah Mortensen led the way, hitting a trio of 3-pointers to contribute 11 points off the bench. Most attempts for the Hurricanes were rarely contested, coming after good ball movement. BC struggled to close in on shooters off of screens, ultimately unable to disrupt Miami’s rhythm.

Offensively, the Eagles found themselves taking bad shots deep in the shot clock or forcing jumpers throughout. Shooting just 33 percent from the field and an even worse 22 percent from 3-point range, BC’s offense didn’t have a chance to keep up.

On the bright side, BC was able to hold its own in the paint. Emma Guy and Georgia Pineau both pulled in eight rebounds, setting up the Eagles for 14 second-chance points—five more than the visiting Hurricanes.

Pineau scored 16 points while Milan Bolden-Morris added 11 in the loss. BC’s depth was lacking, however, as they managed just eight bench points and struggled to create chances for each other.

“This is a team without superstars and we’ve got to be able to play together,” head coach Erik Johnson said. “I thought we were too passive today.”

Offensively, the Eagles were hampered by a poor shooting night from Taylor Ortlepp, who finished 2-of-10, missing all six of her 3-point attempts. Guy only chipped in four points as well, resulting in a BC offense that failed to clear 12 points in any one quarter.

They also couldn’t take advantage of Miami turnovers, as the Hurricanes piled up 12 but conceded just eight points in transition. Meanwhile, the Eagles gave up 22 points in transition—the product of a third-straight game with 20-plus turnovers.

“I get that we’re not going to be 100 percent consistent,” Johnson added. “When the other team makes mistakes, it’s us having that attack mentality—we have to go at them and make them pay for their mistakes.”

A shaky start to the conference campaign doesn’t bode well, especially with some of the conference’s elite looming. A turnover-prone team with defensive issues is the recipe for disaster, and the Eagles haven’t shown any recent signs of a turnaround.

Featured Image by Keith Carroll / Heights Editor