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WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: New BC Offense Stalls At BU In Low-Scoring Game

Asst. Sports Editor

Published: Monday, November 12, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01

Erik Johnson warned his staff ahead of time to expect some clumsiness on the offensive end.

“I think it’s a function of a new staff with a new group of players,” Johnson said after kicking off the new era of Boston College women’s basketball in his first game as head coach. “So [ when it comes to the players] really understanding the offense and them really understanding where those opportunities are, I have to do a better job of putting them in better positions and clearly executing where those looks are.”
No starter shot above 40 percent for the Eagles as they fell 52-46 at Boston University on Friday night against the Terriers in the season opener. Johnson was proud of his team’s defensive effort, holding a veteran BU squad to just 38 percent shooting from the field, and was confident that the offense will come with time.

“I thought that our team followed the game plan defensively very, very well,” Johnson said. “We held a very good team to a low percentage and a low number of points, and I was really proud of them with that. For a while, offensively, we were able to get over the hump, you know we got that nine-point lead, but I never felt like we really got in an offensive flow.”
The Eagles ran a lot of pick and roll with senior guard Kerri Shields, but quick hedges from Terrier defenders broke up her play-making ability. BC also looked to establish junior forward Katie Zenevitch on the post, but BU was able to contain her as well.

Although the Eagles went into halftime holding on to a 20-19 lead and then broke off an 8-0 run to start the second half, BU was able to seal the win with some clutch play down the stretch. After scrapping together a few tough buckets, the BC offense stalled due to an overall lack of flow and comfort.

“You saw us having to go one-on-one, making too many plays individually, and not out of selfishness,” Johnson said. “It was simply out of trying to do the right thing, but then not quite seeing all of the reads and how everything fits together. So again, that’s the coach’s job.”
Shields and fellow guard Tessah Holt kept BC in the game with a few great plays on both sides of the ball, forcing turnovers and creating something out of nothing with drives to the rim as the shot clock expired. Johnson’s offense is still a work in progress and he expects his players to do better the next time out after getting a chance to see the film.

“I have a feeling that when we watch this film, we’re going to see there were a lot of really good opportunities, but we just didn’t see it,” Johnson said. “We didn’t quite make it, or a pass was a little bit late, so it ends up being a turnover instead of a basket.

“Look, we’ve got way too good of offensive players to be scoring 46 points, and that’s a coach’s responsibility to make sure we’re putting our best offensive players in positions to go and be able to shoot a hundred percent.”
The game was also the first outing for freshman Nicole Boudreau, who started for the Eagles. The two-time Massachusetts Gatorade Player of the Year nailed a pair of threes in the first half with her smooth stroke, but struggled at times to find her groove outside of her perimeter shooting. Despite the uneven play, the future is bright for the rookie, who flashed her impressive potential.

“She’s great,” Johnson said. “Nicole, she started her first game. She’s a great shooter. She’s tough. She’s smart. I think as our team grows, you’re going to see Nicole growing and her learning curve is just going to explode and she’s going to be a great player for us.”

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