In the final minutes of the fourth quarter, Boston College women’s basketball was struggling. After an initial burst of offensive strength in the first quarter, the Eagles were overcome by the might and determination of conference rival Virginia (7-9, 2-3 Atlantic Coast) and trailed for the remainder of the game.
BC men’s basketball recently pulled off an upset over Virginia, the reigning national champions, but the women were unable to tap into that same magic. With the 69-52 loss, the Eagles (9-7, 2-3 Atlantic Coast) now have seven straight losses against the Cavaliers, their last win coming in a regular season game in February 2014.
The Eagles started strong with senior Emma Guy and sophomore Marnelle Garraud leading BC to an early 12-5 lead over Virginia. But that was when the Cavaliers stepped up and took control of the game. Virginia shut out the Eagles for over six minutes, going on a 12-point streak to lead 17-12 with a minute left on the clock.
Taylor Soule and Guy combined for five points to tie up the game before the end of the first, but their efforts were not enough to change the momentum of the contest. The Eagles would regain the lead twice more, but neither time led to large runs to top the Cavaliers.
As opposed to the long streaks that had occurred in the first quarter, the second frame began with largely back-and-forth play, each team converting on its possession before turning over control of the ball to the other. The two teams swapped points until there were three minutes remaining in the half, when the Cavaliers began to run away with the game.
Just after the two-minute mark, Virginia led 27-26 before UVA freshman Shemera Williams collected two points off back-to-back free throws to put the Cavaliers up by three points. Virginia shut out the Eagles for the rest of the half, adding another field goal of its own to increase its lead to 31-26.
The second half began slower than the other had, neither team scoring until over a minute after tip-off. Guy secured the first points of the half, with a good layup to put the Eagles within three points of the Cavaliers. Shortly after, Virginia picked up five points off two layups and a free throw to once again distance itself from BC.
Despite the dominance that was beginning to emerge within the Virginia bench, Guy refused to give up before the final buzzer: During the first half of the quarter, she collected five more points for the Eagles. While Guy’s solo effort should have put BC back in contention with Virginia, the Cavaliers scored four points of their own to make the score 40-33 at the midway point of the third quarter.
Seconds after Guy scored on her free throw to put the Eagles within seven points, Virginia secured three more points—the Cavaliers recording their first double-digit lead of the contest. Makayla Dickens and Soule exchanged points with Virginia for the rest of the quarter, which ended with a score of 49-39.
Although the Eagles had struggled to keep up with the Cavaliers, there was still a chance they could come back in the final frame. They were only down by a 10-point deficit, and if they had successfully stifled Virginia’s momentum, they could have pulled through with their third conference win and third straight win.
But that was not the case. Guy scored a layup early in the final quarter to cut the Eagles’ deficit to eight, but two quick field goals by the Cavaliers shut down any momentum generated by Guy’s efforts.
Milan Bolden-Morris, Soule, and Guy continued to secure points past the locked-in Cavaliers as the Eagles fought to stay in the game. But with four minutes remaining in the game—the score 60-48 following a 3-pointer by Virginia—their chances were looking slim. Head coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee called a timeout with 2:57 left on the clock in a desperate effort to slow down the Cavaliers. With the exception of layups by Soule and Guy, Virginia’s squad shut down the Eagles to finish the game at 69-52.
While BC had difficulty when it came to getting past Virginia players to get to the net, it also struggled with eliminating turnovers. On average, the Eagles have generated 19 turnovers by their opponents this season. In this game, however, BC turned possession over to the Cavaliers 19 times, only forcing 15 from Virginia.
Featured Image by Maggie DiPatri / Heights Editor