Previewing 2018-19 Women’s Basketball: Loyola (Maryland)

boston college women's basketball

Last year, Boston College women’s basketball didn’t win its fifth game until the middle of December. Now, it’ll look to hit that mark in its fifth game of the season, aiming to continue an impressive start with a neutral site game against Loyola (Maryland) at the 25th Annual Hawk Classic in Philadelphia. First-year head coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee has led an offensive revolution on the Heights, with her team playing an entertaining, fast-paced style of basketball in the early going.

The Eagles (4-0) will take on a struggling Greyhounds (0-4) squad that is hoping to jump-start its 2018 campaign. BC is coming off an impressive, hard-fought road victory over Houston—a team that went to the WNIT last season—and is likely feeling confident. Additionally, while the Eagles rank 38th in the country in scoring offense, Loyola is over 300 spots below them in that department.

Who is BC playing?
Loyola (Maryland)

Where is BC playing?
Michael J. Hagan ’85 Arena, Philadelphia, Pa.

When is BC playing?
Saturday, Nov. 24, 2 p.m.

How to Watch:
The game will not be streamed live.

By the Numbers:

BC:

1) Freshman guard Marnelle Garraud ranks 45th nationally and third in the ACC with 3.3 3-pointers made per game. Her 13 made threes lead the Eagles, four of which helped propel BC to victory against Houston.

2) BC is fourth in the ACC in scoring margin at +22.2, having rolled in three of its four games. The Eagles’ seven-point triumph over Houston was the first game that they failed to win by at least 20 points all season.

3) Garraud, Emma Guy, and Makayla Dickens are all averaging at least 13 points per game. While Dickens and Garraud do most of their damage from behind the arc, Guy has yet to attempt a 3-pointer this season. This inside-outside combination has proven to be very effective for the Eagles, as they own the third most potent scoring offense in the ACC, averaging 82.5 points per game.

Loyola (Maryland.):

1) Loyola has failed to score more than 50 points in any of its games this season, resulting in a 347th-ranked scoring offense that’s the third-worst in the nation. The Greyhounds are shooting just 26.1 percent from the field and average almost 17 turnovers per game.

2) Sophomore forward Isabella Therrien is the only Loyola player to average more than 10 points per game. Third on the team in minutes, Therrien averages 11 points and 7 rebounds per game. She’s the reigning Patriot League Rookie of the Year, having averaged 15.2 points per game the season prior.

3) While BC relies on its perimeter shooting, it is a weakness for the Greyhounds. Loyola shoots 23.8 percent from 3-point range, 311th in the country. The Greyhounds attempt just under four 3-pointers per game, leaning more on post play.

Last Meeting:

This will be the first-ever meeting between BC and Loyola. The Eagles have already beaten a Patriot League opponent thus far, rolling past Holy Cross on Nov. 15 in a 26-point win. BC was 1-1 against the conference last season, splitting with the Crusaders and Boston University, and has compiled a 55-21 (.724) record all-time.

Outlook:

This is a perfect opportunity for BC to continue its sensational start to the season. It will be extraordinarily difficult for Loyola’s anemic offense to keep up with the Eagles’ dynamic and assorted scoring threats. As long as shots are falling for BC, it should coast to a victory. The first road trip of sorts for Bernabei-McNamee’s group should feature a continuation of its winning ways. The Greyhounds, while they shouldn’t be taken lightly, are an inferior opponent on paper who don’t seem to have the depth or shooting prowess to make it that close. A win over Loyola would tie BC’s best start to a season in three years and continue to develop the confidence of the young Eagles ahead of the looming challenge of ACC competition.

Featured Image by Celine Lim / Heights Editor