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BC’s Slow Start, Shooting Woes Allow Louisville to Cruise to Victory

On Thursday night in Chapel Hill, everything went right for Boston College women’s basketball. The Eagles knocked down a program-record 15 three-pointers and a season-high 29 field goals, en route to defeating North Carolina 88-77—their first win in over a month and their first ACC road victory since Feb. 18, 2015.

But in the second game of BC’s five-day road trip, things couldn’t have gone more wrong.

Sunday afternoon’s game at Louisville was as lopsided as it gets. BC was outplayed in every facet of the game, especially shooting the basketball. Head coach Erik Johnson’s group struggled to find any rhythm on the offensive end, shooting a mere 28.1 percent from the field. The inability to score plagued BC, and the No. 12 Cardinals took advantage, cruising to a 68-43 victory.

Right from the start, the Eagles (9-17, 2-11 Atlantic Coast) appeared disjointed. BC missed 11 of its first 12 shots, which allowed Louisville (22-6, 9-4) to open up an early double-digit lead. As the first quarter progressed, the shooting woes continued for the Eagles. The Cardinals weren’t firing from outside either, but took to the paint to get things going. In fact, 10 of their 14 first quarter points came in the interior.

At the end of the first, only a Kailey Edwards jumper and an Emma Guy layup separated BC from a scoreless period—the Eagles’ four points marked the fewest they have scored in the opening quarter this entire year.

Mariella Fasoula started off the second quarter with a nifty left-handed layup. But the fast start was misleading, as the scoring inconsistencies only continued. Despite turning the ball over nine times in the first half, Louisville remained on top. In part, because of BC’s poor shooting, but largely because it of its physical play.

Nearing the end of the second, the Cardinals had already doubled the Eagles’ rebound total. By controlling the boards, Louisville created easy second-chance scoring opportunities. And although shots may not have been falling, the Cardinals were making frequent trips to the charity stripe—they made 9-of-10 from the line in the first half alone.

But it wasn’t long before the Cardinals picked up their offensive play. Already up 25-11, Louisville went on an 8-0 run toward the end of the half. The scoring outburst was fueled by BC errors and a fast break attack, primarily led by Myisha Hines-Allen and Jazmine Jones. On back-to-back possessions, Hines-Allen found Jones sprinting down the court for a breakaway layup.

Before intermission, Georgia Pineau and Fasoula chipped away at the Louisville lead. But the damage was done. Louisville had a 19-point lead going into the break, and the Eagles were empty handed (0-of-10) from beyond the arc. Kelly Hughes and Taylor Ortlepp—Thursday’s leading scorers—were a combined 0-of-9.

Louisville carried its second-quarter momentum into the third quarter, immediately stringing together a 9-2 run. Kylee Shook accounted for eight of those nine points, drilling two 3-pointers and a mid-range jumper.

The Eagles finally recorded their first 3-pointer, approaching the six-minute mark in the quarter, as Edwards netted one from the left wing. On the next possession, the graduate student launched one more from the same spot. Except this time, it hit off the side of the backboard.

Scoring slowed in the back half of the third, and BC put together a mini 6-2 run. But that wasn’t nearly enough to make a dent in Louisville’s 20-plus point lead.

With the game out of reach, the final quarter consisted of both teams trading baskets. The Eagles upped their field goal percentage, as Guy, Pineau, Emilee Daley, and others tallied garbage-time points. On the other hand, Louisville used the last 10 minutes as a chance to distribute playing time to some of its reserves.

But even so, BC still missed shots—many of which were makeable. With seconds remaining Stephanie Jones drove to the basket, ultimately misguiding a layup.

And that was the game in a nutshell: missed shots.

Johnson and the Eagles are still soul searching, and only three games remain in the regular season. Before the season began, BC looked to be an inside team. On Thursday, it resembled a perimeter-oriented one. Against Louisville, it just looked lost.

Featured Image by Celine Lim / Heights Staff