Women's Basketball

Kelly Hughes Finds Stroke Again, But BC Falls Late to NC State

Kelly Hughes, who is meant to be Boston College’s sharpshooter, has struggled at times to find her stroke this year. She has ignited scoreboards in Durham one night, but vanished in Atlanta the next. In some games, like Thursday’s, she is precise in her shooting and deadly from beyond the arc. In other games, her point totals are high solely because she takes so many shots. In Thursday’s women’s basketball loss to North Carolina State, 74-63, Hughes put on a clinic, leading all players with 21 points. She, along with freshman phenom Mariella Fasoula, who had 19 points, was lethal from the floor. Combined, they were 17-for-24 shooting, good for a superb 70 percent. But it was not enough.

In a loss that will likely go down as one of the most disappointing of the season, BC women’s basketball collapsed against North Carolina State. The Eagles (13-11, 1-10 Atlantic Coast) sizzled out of the gate, racing out to an early 12-point lead against the Wolfpack (17-8, 8-4). But after a fiery first quarter in which they scored 10 more points than their foes, the Eagles cooled off considerably. They were outscored in each of the three following quarters en route to their sixth straight loss and 11th in 12 games.

One of the biggest issues for the Eagles was turnovers, a problem all season as they average over 17 per game. They finished the game par for the season, with a -11 turnover differential against the Wolfpack. Seven turnovers in the second quarter alone were a huge factor in letting NC State back into the game. The Wolfpack, in stark contrast, held onto the ball well, giving up the rock only six times the entire game, a season low.

Although NC State closed the gap in the second quarter, they could not maintain dominance into the third. In what was the only competitive quarter of the game, the two teams went back and forth. Neither team separated itself from the other, as Miah Spencer made shot after shot to keep the Wolfpack in it. At the end of the third, BC led by only one point and hoped to cling to victory.

But Spencer made a layup early in the the fourth quarter to take a 52-51 lead and the Wolfpack never looked back. NC State broke loose in the fourth quarter and held the ice-cold Eagles offense to 12 points. They shot 61 percent in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach.

It was a fiercely contested game for the first three quarters, with BC trying its absolute hardest to get its second conference win of the year. The team, whose season began with so much promise, added yet another loss in a game that probably should have been a win. Sloppy play and inconsistent shooting doomed this team, and it shows that head coach Erik Johnson has a lot of work to do.

Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Editor

February 12, 2016