WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: BC Continues Skid At Virginia Tech

The Eagles traveled to Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, Va. on Sunday, looking to snap a four-game losing streak against ACC foe Virginia Tech. In their only prior meeting against the Hokies this season, the Eagles emerged victorious with a victory in Chestnut Hill thanks in large part to superb performances by senior Kristen Doherty and sophomore Nicole Boudreau. Despite a strong effort by the Eagles, they were not able to complete the season sweep of the Hokies as they fell in a tightly contested game, 70-63 in overtime.

Freshman Kelly Hughes was the story for the Eagles. Hughes led the way, contributing 22 huge points. The game’s leading scorer knocked down three 3-pointers in the first half, and she provided a major boost off of the bench for Boston College.

The Eagles jumped out to a strong start in the first half. Following a Nicole Boudreau layup and Lauren Engeln free throw, Hughes really opened the scoring for the Eagles, hitting a 3-pointer early. This quickly became a theme for the Eagles as the team shot 5-10 from downtown in the first half.

Following another Hughes 3-pointer, BC saw itself holding an early 11-3 lead on the road. Tech proved perseverant, as senior Monet Tellier put up six of the Hokies’ next seven points, making it a three-point game. After two more 3-pointers, the Eagles entered the locker room with a hard fought 34-29 halftime lead.

In the second half, BC’s 3-point prowess went cold. After beginning the game shooting 5-10 from three, the team only shot 2-16 from deep for the rest of the game. Virginia Tech, capitalizing on the Eagles’ shooting struggles, began the second half on a 12-2 run and gained its first lead of the afternoon. Virginia Tech appeared to have control of the game until Hughes once again took over. Hughes scored the game’s next six points, reclaiming the lead for BC.

The seesaw battle continued to rage late into the second half, as Virginia Tech held a one-point lead with 21 seconds remaining. With 10 seconds left in regulation, Boudreau was able to force a rare trip to the free-throw line, and she knocked down both clutch shots to give BC a 56-55 lead. Virginia Tech was quickly able to tie the game, however, with a free throw of its own with four seconds remaining.

Once overtime rolled around, Virginia Tech cruised. The Hokies took a stranglehold on the game, beginning overtime on a 10-0 run, due largely to five points from Australian freshman Vanessa Panousis. While BC chipped away at the lead a bit, the final result was never truly in jeopardy. The Eagles had no answer for Panousis, who finished the game by scoring all of Virginia Tech’s final eight points.

In a game where one team holds the advantage in overall field goal percentage, 3-point percentage, and rebounding, it is expected that a win should follow. This was not the case for the Eagles on Sunday, however. Foul trouble cost BC immensely. While the Eagles’ .727 clip from the line trumped Virginia Tech’s .697, they were only able to reach the charity stripe 11 times throughout the entire game. Quantity won out over quality as the Hokies were able to capitalize on their 33 chances at the free throw line just enough for a victory. While a few of these chances were the results of desperation fouls at the end of overtime, this large disparity in free throw chances was undoubtedly the undoing of BC.

The loss dropped the Eagles to 11-12 on the season, as well as 2-7 in ACC conference play. BC is also now below the .500 mark for the first time since early December. The Eagles will continue their ACC schedule and look to end their five game losing streak at 7 p.m. on Thursday in Conte Forum as they take on the University of Virginia.

February 3, 2014