Sports, Winter, Basketball

Orange Too Much For Eagles

The Boston College women’s basketball team scored 47 points, its worst total thus far in the season, in a 71-47 loss to visitors Syracuse. The Eagles hosted the Orange at Conte Forum on Sunday afternoon, in a Think Pink game, sponsored by the Play 4Kay initiative.

From the first to last whistle, Syracuse employed full-court pressure on the Eagles. Guards Nicole Boudreau and Kelly Hughes were the primary bearers of this brunt, having to make the passes and decisions to get the ball into the offensive zone. The athleticism and speed of the Syracuse guards proved to be the Eagles’ undoing quite often, as BC recorded 18 turnovers and the Orange garnered 11 steals. Syracuse’s Rachel Coffey, Brittney Sykes, Cornelia Fondren, and Briana Day had two steals each for the visitors.

“We had way too many turnovers,” said BC head coach Erik Johnson. “I thought other than when we turned the ball over, Syracuse also slowed the game down and tried to have fewer possessions. You saw in the second half, they really decided to run out the clock and run plays under 10 seconds.”

Syracuse never stopped its full-court pressure and seemingly ruthless attacking of BC on the defensive end. The Eagles never appeared confident in rushing past the pressure and catching the Orange with a counter attack. Johnson attributed this to a team that has to deal with focusing on multiple different aspects of the game and sometimes gets confused in the process.

“I thought we got sloppy, and I thought we got exposed,” he said. “We talk a lot about simple basketball, and the ability to catch and square, and just jab somebody off you … You’ve got a young team that is trying to please us [the coaching staff], they’re trying to be organized, and sometimes they just need to go play.”

Johnson also pointed to a lack of offensive rebounds, free throws, and changing up the tempo of the game as measures that proved unsuccessful in evening out the score line.

Play 4Kay

The Eagles came out of the locker room decked out in pink from head to toe. Sporting all pink uniforms, many players wore pink headbands, and Katie Zenevitch even wore pink shoes.

This was in collaboration with the Play 4Kay initiative, which raises awareness for breast cancer and collects funds for research. Any spectator wearing pink received free admission into the game.

In keeping with this spirit, the Eagles wore a No. 15 on the sleeves of their warm-up shirts in commemoration of former player Clare Droesch, who is currently fighting breast cancer. Johnson took this Think Pink game as having more overall significance than the scoreline.

“Today was about a whole lot more than basketball-the Think Pink game and that initiative, we wore Clare Droesch’s No. 15 on our jerseys today,” he said. “She is one of our superstar alums, who is battling breast cancer. We had some survivors with us, in fact just address our team in the locker room. They were incredibly inspirational. And just for them to remember that they are playing for something much bigger than themselves, and all of the things that the pink uniforms represent.”

Additionally, Johnson said that the team took time to remember Dick Kelley, the former BC sports information director who died last Thursday after a three-year battle with ALS.

“The game, our sport and this university is about so much more than just basketball,” Johnson said.

February 17, 2014