Last season, Boston College women’s basketball languished near the bottom of the ACC all season, winning just two conference games and finishing with an ACC-worst season record of 7-23. This, combined with a 2016-17 season in which it also failed to crack the 10-win mark, led to the resignation of head coach Erik Johnson and the hire of Joanna Bernabei-McNamee, a coach with a proven track record of winning who owns a lifetime head coaching record of 126-65.
Bernabei-McNamee will be tasked with rebuilding a program that hasn’t had a winning record since the 2010 season and struggled mightily in all phases last season. The Eagles were outscored by 10.5 points per game, outrebounded by almost six boards a contest, and turned the ball over almost four more times per game than their opponents. These numbers help to explain why BC struggled with all manner of opponents in 2017, losing to everyone from eventual national champion Notre Dame to crosstown rival Boston University—a mid-major that finished second-to-last in the Patriot League.
Of course, it’s never easy to win in the ACC. In what is likely the best basketball conference in the country, the Eagles will again face another quality slate of opponents in conference play, from the aforementioned Irish to Louisville—who lost in the Final Four to Mississippi State—to traditional powerhouse Duke. BC’s schedule, which was released Tuesday, is not going to provide Bernabei-McNamee with a warm welcome.
Nov. 8 at Rhode Island (Kingston, R.I.) *Regular Season Opener
→ The Eagles open up the season with a trip to Rhode Island, a team that managed just three wins last season, en route to a last place finish in the A-10.
Nov. 11 Vs. St. Peter’s (Chestnut Hill, Mass.) *Home Opener
Nov. 15 Vs. Holy Cross (Chestnut Hill, Mass.)
→ BC has played traditional rival Holy Cross in two of the past three seasons, winning both encounters. However, this isn’t a game for the Eagles to take lightly. In both contests, the Crusaders have played them close, losing by just nine points both times. In last season’s game, Georgia Pineau was BC’s savior, recording a double double with 19 points and 12 rebounds.
Nov. 18 at Houston (Houston, Texas)
Nov. 24 Vs. Loyola University Maryland (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Nov. 25 at St. Joe’s/Rider (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Nov. 27 Vs. Providence (Chestnut Hill, Mass.)
→ In another game against a regional rival, BC hosts Providence. The Eagles have won four of the past five games versus their New England counterparts. That said, they did lose the last encounter between the two teams during the 2017 season, when Providence outscored BC, 21-6, in the third quarter, on its way to a 63-55 victory.
Dec. 2 Vs. Columbia (Chestnut Hill, Mass.)
Dec. 6 Vs. Bryant (Chestnut Hill, Mass.)
Dec. 9 Vs. Minnesota (Chestnut Hill, Mass.)
→ The Golden Gophers are the first Power Five team on BC’s schedule in 2018. The two teams met last season, but Minnesota pulled out a 78-68 win, despite then-freshman Sydney Lowery’s career-high 19 points.
Dec. 16 Vs. Boston University (Chestnut HIll, Mass.)
→ The Eagles will face their crosstown rivals for the 10th-consecutive season in the fourth of six-straight December home games. BC will be looking for revenge after a 61-57 loss to the Terriers last season snapped a four-game Eagles win streak in the series between the teams.
Dec. 21 Vs. Campbell (Chestnut Hill, Mass.)
Dec. 29 Vs. Dartmouth (Chestnut Hill, Mass.)
Jan. 3 Vs. Georgia Tech *ACC Home Opener
→ In 2017, the Eagles suffered one of their worst defeats at the hands of the Yellow Jackets, turning the ball over 35 times and shooting just 34 percent from the field on their way to a 67-43 loss that dropped them to 6-18 overall.
Jan. 6 Vs. N.C. State (Chestnut Hill, Mass.)
→ BC opens the home conference slate against the Wolfpack, a team the Eagles have lost to in each of their last four meetings. Last season, N.C. State beat BC, 72-54, in Raleigh, despite a combined 39 points from Taylor Ortlepp and Georgia Pineau. The Wolfpack went on to the Sweet 16 before falling to eventual national runner-up Mississippi State, and this season’s team should give the Eagles a stern test as well.
Jan. 10 at Wake Forest (Winston-Salem, N.C.)
Jan. 13 at Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
→ The Panthers were one of just two ACC teams that BC managed to beat last season, thanks to 23 points from Pineau and 19 forced turnovers. The 72-61 win also marked one of only two ACC games in which the Eagles managed to score more than 70 points.
Jan. 17 Vs. Florida State (Chestnut Hill, Mass.)
→ After facing one of only two teams that it beat in the ACC last season, BC hosts Florida State, a group that handed the Eagles their worst defeat of 2017. Against FSU, BC recorded a mere 39 points and shot just 26 percent in the second half, losing, 67-39.
Jan. 20 at Notre Dame (South Bend, Ind.)
→ In one of its toughest tests of the season, BC hits the road to play the Irish, last year’s national champions and a perennial powerhouse. The Eagles haven’t upended Notre Dame since they joined the ACC in 2014, and last season’s encounter in South Bend was indicative of the teams’ recent history. The Irish started the game on a 9-0 run and never looked back, blowing out the Eagles, 89-60.
Jan. 27 at Miami (Miami, Fla.)
→ The road slate for BC doesn’t get any easier when it travels to play Miami, an NCAA Tournament team last season that finished 21-12. In the teams’ last game, BC logged just 43 points while turning the ball over 20 times, and trailed, 40-20, at halftime before ending the game on the wrong side of 65-43 scoreline. That game was one of three conference tests where the Eagles recorded less than 50 points.
Jan. 31 Vs. Duke (Chestnut Hill, Mass.)
→ In its third-consecutive contest against a 2017 tournament team, BC hosts Duke, a team it hasn’t beaten since 2014. On the bright side for the Eagles, the Blue Devils lost both Lexie Brown and Rebecca Greenwell to the WNBA—a duo that torched BC for a combined 38 points last season.
Feb. 3 Vs. Virginia Tech (Chestnut Hill, Mass.)
Feb. 7 at Virginia (Charlottesville, Va.)
Feb. 10 at Syracuse (Syracuse, N.Y.)
→ In the second of two-straight road games, the Eagles travel to Syracuse to face one of just two teams in the conference that they plays twice—the other being Notre Dame. Last season, the Orange bested BC twice, most notably, 75-57 in Chestnut Hill. In the other game between the two teams, Ortlepp hit seven 3-pointers to keep the Eagles close, but her air raid wasn’t enough to drag the team to victory, as BC dropped its season finale.
Feb. 13 Vs. Notre Dame (Chestnut Hill, Mass.)
Feb. 16 Vs. Clemson (Chestnut Hill, Mass.)
Feb 21 at North Carolina (Chapel Hill, N.C.)
→ In their second-to-last road game of the season, the Eagles travel to Chapel Hill, N.C. to face the other ACC team that they defeated in 2017. Thanks to a then-career high 18 points from Milan Bolden-Morris, the Eagles held off the Tar Heels late, defeating UNC, 77-64, in one of just five home wins for BC last season.
Feb. 24 at Louisville (Louisville, Ky.)
→ The last road trip of the season for the Eagles is one of their most difficult, as they go to Louisville to face a Cardinals team that finished the 2017 season 35-2, with only a heartbreaking loss in overtime against Mississippi State preventing them from a berth in the national championship game. BC’s game against Louisville last season was as lopsided as one might expect, with the Cardinals outscoring the Eagles, 55-25, in the second half, pacing a 87-52 blowout win.
March 3 Vs. Syracuse (Chestnut Hill, Mass.)
→ BC wraps up its home slate with Syracuse, the same team that the Eagles ended the regular season against in 2017.
First Round: March 6 Vs. TBD (Greensboro, N.C.)
Second Round: March 7 Vs. TBD (Greensboro, N.C.)
Third Round: March 8 Vs. TBD (Greensboro, N.C.)
Fourth Round: March 9 Vs. TBD (Greensboro, N.C.)
Championship: March 10 Vs. TBD (Greensboro, N.C.)