Kelly Hughes called for the ball. As it swung around the perimeter from right to left, Hughes, the all-time 3-point leader for Boston College women’s basketball as of Monday, quickly squared up to the basket. Muscle memory took over as she sent the ball to the hoop. Hughes didn’t even have to look—all she had to do was listen for the swish. But as many times as she did that on Thursday night, it simply wasn’t enough.
Hughes and Georgia Pineau teamed up to score a combined total of 35 points, but their team needed more than two standout players to win this game. BC battled to the finish against Seton Hall, but ultimately fell, 71-66.
One minute into the game, Mariella Fasoula drained a layup to put the Eagles (1-2) on the board first. Both teams had tight defenses, making it a mere 8-6 Seton Hall (3-0) lead halfway through the first quarter.
With three minutes left in the quarter, both defenses started to break down, allowing both teams to quickly score.
Opening up the second quarter, Hughes triggered a 7-0 run to give her team a 27-22 lead. Seton Hall was not going to go away quietly. With seven minutes left in the half, the Pirates regained energy and pressured the Eagles’ defense. They easily dropped defenders and drove to the basket.
Although the Eagles had holes in their man-to-man defense, their offense wasted no time getting to the hoop. Hughes effortlessly drained a wide-open 3-pointer from the corner to help BC maintain the lead.
Soon their passion got the best of them and the Eagles began to quickly rack up fouls. They managed to tally a total of five in just over a minute in the second. BC had no more fouls to give, so the team had to be careful in the last two minutes if it wanted to prevent the Pirates from taking a trip to the charity stripe.
After some sloppy ball handling, the Pirates capitalized to make it a one-possession game. Luckily for the Eagles, the buzzer sounded before the Pirates sank a three, keeping the score 40-37 going into halftime. Hughes led the way into the locker room with 14 points, six boards, and two steals in her pocket.
It took two minutes, but the Eagles broke into the paint in order to score first. After going on a 6-0 run, BC was up 46-37. The team got too comfortable with the nine-point lead and Seton Hall went on a 5-0 run. A minute later, the game was knotted at 48.
The Pirates worked the ball in and out of the arc causing the Eagles to scramble. Seton Hall fired three shots beyond the arc but missed each attempt. Hughes even lost her mojo and missed twice while firing her signature shot from the corner. The score was locked at 48 for almost four minutes until Deja Winters drain a 3-pointer for the Pirates. BC would never catch up.
Claire Lundberg nailed a three off an inbound play, but Pineau answered with one of her own. Heading into the final quarter, the Pirates led 55-52.
Ella Awobajo opened up the fourth quarter with a jumper to make it a one-point game. But, Seton Hall effortlessly passed defenders and quickly gained a seven-point lead. With a quiet Hughes, it was obvious the Eagles began to panic, as they continued to toss up desperate shots.
Only Pineau remained calm. She drained a jumper and gave BC life again. Hughes woke up and made a 3-pointer from the corner to make it a 63-61 game.
Two minutes later, the Pirates were up 69-66. Hughes stole the ball off an inbound pass with 17 seconds remaining and called for a timeout. The Eagles had a play prepared to allow Hughes to drain her 3-pointer from the corner and tie the game. But a dropped pass and kicked ball midway through the play, gave the Pirates possession with little time left on the clock.
With 10 seconds left, Seton Hall made two foul shots. The Eagles were five points down but, they were not ready to give up. BC missed a jumper and a layup as the clock ticked down. The buzzer sounded. And Hughes, who had been excited to have her friends and family in attendance in her home state, will lead BC back to Chestnut Hill with more questions than answers about the team’s season.
Featured Image by Amelie Trieu / Heights Editor