Previewing 2018-19 Women’s Basketball: Providence

boston college women's basketball

It’s easy to say that Boston College women’s basketball couldn’t have asked for a better showing at the 25th annual Hawk Classic in Philadelphia over Thanksgiving break. The Eagles (6-0) won both of their games by a combined 77 points, rolling over Loyola Maryland and Rider in convincing fashion. It’s been a largely drama-free first six games for BC, as outside of a seven-point road win over Houston, it’s won its games by an average of nearly 32 points. The undefeated start will be tested on Tuesday night, though, as the Eagles welcome in Providence (1-2), a team that beat BC a season ago and is a former Big East rival.

Who is BC playing?
Providence

Where is BC playing?
Conte Forum, Chestnut Hill, Mass.

When is BC playing?
Tuesday, Nov. 27, 7 p.m.

How to Watch:
The game will be on ACC Network Extra and available on WatchESPN.

By the Numbers:

BC:

1) The Eagles have two freshman in their starting lineup and both have enjoyed excellent start to the year. Guard Marnelle Garraud was named the Hawk Classic MVP and is averaging 16.5 points per game on the strength of 54.3 percent 3-point shooting, while forward Taylor Soule chips in 8.2 points and 4 rebounds per game.

2) Last season, BC finished 302nd of 349 teams in scoring offense, averaging just 58.2 points per game. Through six games under Joanna Bernabei-McNamee, the Eagles have seen almost a 30-point jump, currently ranking 17th with an 85.8 average.

3) Forward Emma Guy has been nothing but consistent from the field thus far, as her 69.2 field goal percentage is sixth in the country. Guy has seen a 17-point jump in percentage from last year and is currently scoring 13.2 points and pulling down almost seven rebounds per game.

Providence:

1) Through three games, the Friars have managed to keep opponents largely in check, as they’re shooting just 32.1 percent against them. Providence is averaging four blocks per game, having been able to make things difficult in the paint.

2) The Friars defense has also been effective in chasing opponents off the 3-point line, as they rank 28th so far in opponent 3-point percentage, limiting teams to a 23.1 percent mark. Granted, this is through three games, and neither of Providence’s opponents find themselves in the top 50 of 3-point shooting.

3) The duo to watch is Channell Williams and Jovana Nogic, as both average double digits with 12.7 and 11.7 points, respectively. Nogic is particularly prone to letting it fly from beyond the arc, as she averages eight attempts per game but is hitting at just a 25 percent rate.

Last Meeting:

Before last year, the Eagles had won a remarkable 14-straight games against their Rhode Island neighbors. That came to a halt on Dec. 21, 2017, as Providence erased a halftime deficit and beat them, 63-55. BC, on the strength of a good shooting night from Milan Bolden-Morris, built a five-point lead at the break. The Eagles quickly went cold in the third quarter, though, and the Friars boasted a 21-6 edge in the 10-minute span to pull away. Bolden-Morris had 16 points in the loss, while Nogic went 8-of-10 at the charity stripe and led all scorers with 18 points.

Outlook:

BC has taken 14 of the last 15 meetings with Providence, and last year aside, it seems the Eagles will likely continue that impressive trend. With six games under their belt and an offense that is firing on all cylinders, BC is in prime position to outpace the Friars, who have broken 64 points—the Eagles’ lowest points total thus far—just once this season. Garraud and Makayla Dickens make up a formidable backcourt, especially with Bernabei-McNamee bringing the latter off the bench to provide a spark. Guy is enjoying her best start to a season yet for BC, and while Soule’s free throw shooting leaves something to be desired (50 percent), she is still making a lot of noise down low. The Eagles have more depth, boast better shooters, and crash the boards at a much higher rate. Two of BC’s last three wins against Providence were by 25-plus points, and with the level the Eagles are playing at right now, that could easily be Tuesday night’s result.

Featured Image by Zoe Fanning / Heights Senior Staff

Bradley Smart
About Bradley Smart 218 Articles
Bradley is the associate sports editor for The Heights. He believes that America does truly run on Dunkin, March is the best month, baseball teams should always wear stirrups, and being down 3-1, in anything, is never cause for concern. You can follow him on Twitter @bradleysmart15.