Women's Basketball

Trio Of Freshmen Lead Eagles Over Clemson

“Mosetti was electric all night and Katie was just so solid.”

-Erik Johnson

On a night when the Boston College women’s basketball team was without junior center Karima Gabriel—who was suspended for a violation of team rules—it was three freshmen starters who showed their mettle. Katie Quandt, Ashley Kelsick, and Martina Mosetti all came on strong to lead the Eagles (10-12, 2-7 ACC) to a victory over the Clemson Tigers (9-14, 1-9 ACC) by a score of 68-53.

Clemson features the youngest team in the entire country, with eight freshmen on the roster, who account for over half of the team’s minutes. The Eagles came into the game off of three straight positive results—the first an upset over No. 15 Duke at Conte, and two road losses against Pittsburgh and North Carolina, in both of which BC held late game leads before faltering.

BC got off to a good start in the first half, working the ball both around the perimeter and in the paint for a three from Emilee Daley and an easy lay in from Quandt before the first timeout on the floor. The first half featured a 14-1 run for the Eagles with 3-pointers from Daley, Kelsick, and Nicole Boudreau.

This run got the Eagles to a 28-16 lead at the 4:50 mark and prompted a timeout from head coach Audra Smith. This timeout was key in stopping the first half bleeding for the Tigers, as BC regained some composure and closed the deficit to eight by halftime. Clemson’s Tiffany Lewis and freshman Shelbie Davenport accounted for 23 of the Tigers’ 26 first-half points, hitting from beyond the arc consistently. All seven 3-pointers from this undersized Clemson roster came from the Davenport-Lewis tandem—these threes keyed Clemson’s strategy to overcoming the Eagles’ tough 2-3 zone.

At the start of the second half, the story of the game remained largely the same for the Eagles, who came out in the second half and ran their lead up to as much as 15, with a lead of 41-26 at the 17:05 mark. The Eagles’ defense held the sharpshooting offense of the Tigers without a basket for the first 5:35 of the second half. BC’s attack featured a particularly well-rounded effort with none of its players dominating the scoring, and instead featuring an approach heavily focused on moving the basketball, reflected in its balanced scoring.

The Tigers made a run at the Eagles in the middle of the half. Davenport hit three of three from the charity stripe and Lewis added a 3-pointer of her own to bring the deficit down to just three, forcing a timeout from coach Erik Johnson. Boudreau came from the timeout with a huge old-fashioned three-point play for the Eagles, who scored seven straight to stretch their lead back to 10 with consecutive clutch baskets by freshmen Quandt and Kelsick.

Despite a second half surge from the Tigers, the Eagles showed maturity by not letting the game slip away. The Tigers, who scored most of their points on threes, put up a fight, but the Eagles were ultimately the superior team in the battle of two of the ACC’s bottom four teams. The balanced scoring of Daley, Quandt, Boudreau, Kelsick, and Mosetti was just too much for the Tigers.

After an 0-5 start in the ACC, the young Eagles have displayed more consistency and competitive energy in their last four games, winning two of them. The team’s freshmen have been huge in this turnaround. Johnson shared that he told his freshmen, it’s February, and they don’t get to be freshmen anymore. They seem to have taken it to heart, with the arrow pointing up for the future of this Eagles’ program.

Featured Image by Arthur Bailin / Heights Editor

February 6, 2015

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