WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Shields Leads BC Past UVA
Published: Monday, February 18, 2013
Updated: Monday, February 18, 2013 00:02
Kerri Shields could hardly miss. The senior guard went 7-for-12 from the 3-point line, setting a season high and racking up 21 points to lead the Boston College women’s basketball team (10-14, 4-9 ACC) to a 61-49 win over the Virginia Cavaliers last Thursday at Conte Forum.
“Kerri Shields hitting those threes was huge.” said head coach Erik Johnson. That kept us in it in that first half.”
Shields converted five 3-pointers in the first half alone. Virginia held the lead for the majority of the first half, however, with their largest lead coming at 11-18.
The Cavaliers’ two centers, Simone Egwu and Sarah Imovbioh were their team’s two highest scorers in the first half, as Virginia relied heavily on their post game. Egwu towered over the BC defense, putting in hook shots and jumpers, and Imovbioh used her strength, speed, and size to power through her defender down low.
Given the task of defending these two, Katie Zenevitch garnered two fouls within the first eight minutes, forcing Johnson to sub her out for freshman Alexa Coulombe.
“They were bigger. When Katie Zenevitch got into foul trouble early, they got even bigger compared to us,” Johnson said. “I thought when Alexa Coulombe came off of the bench, giving up a lot of inches and a lot of pounds, she really just fought tooth-and-nail, even with kids who were bigger than she was.”
Inspired play from Shields, Coulombe, and Kristen Doherty kept the Eagles in the game, and they led 33-31 at the end of the first half.
“Their inside game was so tough—I thought that they hurt us early, but we made some good adjustments. We tried to play more preventative, we tried to get around, we tried to front the post a little bit more, and I thought those things were effective,” Johnson said.
After these adjustments, the Eagles maintained a steady lead for the rest of the game.
The reintroduction of Zenevitch also added a different element to BC’s offense.
As opposed to her pointless first half, Zenevitch found herself very involved in play, driving down low for layups and nailing mid-range jumpers. She finished with 12 points on the night, all of which came in the second half.
“Katie Zenevitch was excellent in transition. She used that rest that she got in the first half, with the foul trouble, to really be able to get out and we got her some layups,” Johnson said.
Johnson credited the defense, especially that of the guards, for allowing Zenevitch and others to put the Eagles ahead in the second half.
“I thought our guards did a really good job of being able to get out at their shooters, as well as being able to help on the inside,” Johnson said.
He thought that their ability to force Virginia into making bad shots was the key to sparking a transition offense, which allows the Eagles to play their best basketball.
Doherty was essential to this, picking up 10 rebounds, along with 10 points, to keep the ball on offense for BC.
The last key component for the Eagles was point guard Tessah Holt.
“When our point guards play well, we are pretty good,” Johnson said. Tessah had five assists and no turnovers. Got to the rim—scored, and there’s the difference right there.”