Previewing 2017-18 Women’s Basketball: Pittsburgh

Boston College women’s basketball

On Sunday afternoon, Boston College women’s basketball (6-18, 1-10 Atlantic Coast) will face off against Pittsburgh (10-14, 2-9) in Conte Forum, where the Eagles have dropped their last four games. Struggling as of late, BC finds itself stuck on a nine-game losing streak, after it was unable to pick up its second ACC win at Georgia Tech on Thursday night. Sunday is a good opportunity for the Eagles, considering that Pittsburgh, which has lost five of its last six, is another team that finds itself at the bottom of the ACC standings. Both look to gain some momentum at the end of their seasons for a potential ACC Tournament run, as conference play finishes up later this month.

Who is BC playing?

Pittsburgh

When is BC playing?

Sunday, Feb. 11, 1 p.m.

Where is BC playing?

Conte Forum, Chestnut Hill, Mass.

How to Watch:

The game will be aired on ACC Network Extra and livestreamed on WatchESPN.

By the Numbers:

BC:

1) In the Eagles’ last game at GT, BC gave the ball up 35 times, and the Yellow Jackets scored 26 points off of turnovers. The Eagles average 17.4 turnovers per game, while their opponents average just 13.5.

2) After starting off 1-1 in ACC play, the Eagles have lost their last nine, and now find themselves in the conference’s cellar.

3) Against GT, Milan Bolden-Morris hit a team and season-high five 3-pointers. When all was said and done, the freshman scored 20 points in 39 minutes for the Eagles. Bolden-Morris has an overall field-goal percentage of 40.1, and a 3-point percentage of 37.2.

Pittsburgh:

1) Redshirt junior Yacine Diop is 11th in the ACC in scoring, averaging 15.4 points per game. Diop also averages 29.7 minutes per game and 6.5 rebounds per game, with a shooting percentage of 42.1.

2) Pittsburgh’s head coach Suzie McConnell-Serio has a 180-135 career record for the Panthers, as well as 3-1 record against BC since joining the ACC.

3) In the Panthers’ last six games, they have failed to score over 60 points, and they went 1-5 in that stretch. When Pittsburgh scores over 60 points, it usually wins, boasting a 7-2 record in those games.

Last Meeting:

The last meeting between these two teams took place on Jan 5. at Pittsburgh, when the Eagles dropped a road game to the Panthers. The 56-43 Pittsburgh victory was its first conference win of the season, coming very early in ACC play. At the time, BC was riding high on a six-game winning streak, but Emma Guy’s 12 points and seven rebounds were not enough to top Pittsburgh. Kalista Walters poured on 19 points to stop the Eagles’ hot streak and get the Panthers in the ACC win column.

BC Wins If…

It can get out to a fast start. Throughout the season, the Eagles have struggled to get ahead early, frequently finding themselves playing from behind. Lots of turnovers and an inability to knock down perimeter shots in the opening quarters have contributed to BC’s first-half deficits, and are a huge reason why it hasn’t won in over a month. The Eagles will once again rely on Bolden-Morris and Ortlepp, who have fueled their offense of late. If BC can get the same effort out of these two, as well as a balanced attack from the other starters, it could very well find itself with its second ACC win of the year. That said, if the Eagles don’t get off to a quick start, they will find themselves trying to crawl back from a deficit that may be too tough to overcome, even at halftime.

BC Loses if…

It can’t stop turning the ball over. The Eagles turned over the ball a mind-boggling 35 times at GT. Pittsburgh is another team that turns the ball over a lot, averaging 16.0 turnovers per game this season. Whichever side can take better care of the ball will come out on top, and BC cannot afford to have another turnover stricken game like they did Thursday night. Ball security should be a top priority for the Eagles, specifically in the first half. If they can limit the turnovers and force some from the Panthers, they give themselves a strong chance to win this game. Bottom line, the Eagles must have a strong, clean first half to compete on Sunday.

Featured Image by Celine Lim / Heights Staff