Women's Basketball

Eagles Showcase Potential With Win at Yale

With seconds remaining in the first quarter, Kailey Edwards ball-hawked a Yale pass, brought the ball up, and channeled her options. The redshirt senior looked back and slung the ball to a charging Katie Quandt. Just before the sound of the buzzer, Quandt laid it in, giving Boston College women’s basketball a four-point cushion.

Mariella Fasoula, last year’s runner-up for ACC Rookie of the Year and BC’s primary source of production, was on the bench in Payne Whitney Gymnasium. For head coach Erik Johnson’s crew on Wednesday night, that was exactly what it needed.

This sequence showed the Eagles that they could score without the star-center.

The team finished the first half on a 13-4 run and refused to concede its lead for the remainder of play. With the 71-64 victory, BC (3-6), ended a pair of streaks—its own two-game skid and the Bulldogs’ (7-3) six-game winning streak. More importantly, the Eagles featured a balanced scoring attack.

For the first time this season, three starters finished in double figures. But just a couple minutes into the opening period, it looked as if BC was on its way to another typical performance—the Fasoula show.

In fact, the sophomore was responsible for the Eagles’ first point, assist, and rebound. Point guard Martina Mosetti went back to Fasoula time and time again. The Greek sophomore would receive the pass, turn, and scoop the ball into the basket. Early on into the game, the contest was dictated by a battle between Fasoula and Yale’s Jen Berkowitz in the paint. But after Edwards’ steal, the floor opened up for BC.

As the scoring distribution increased, so did the shooting percentage. The Eagles have shot a mere 41.7 percent from the field this season, but the team upped the conversion rate to 59.6 percent against Yale.

BC’s all-time leading marksman from outside, Kelly Hughes, bounced back from her 3-pointer-less effort at Fordham. The senior knocked down a triple near the start of the second half, which complemented her three additional field goals and late-game trips to the charity stripe, giving her 13 points on the night. Georgia Pineau finished the game on an aggressive note. She extended the Eagles lead back to nine, amidst the Bulldogs’ desperate fourth quarter run. The Australian shot 5-of-7 and tallied seven rebounds and six assists. Edwards wasn’t too far behind her teammates, scoring nine points in the affair, including one of BC’s three 3-pointers.

Yet it was the Eagles’ defense that won them the game. The size on the interior finally yielded results. BC blocked eight shots and limited Yale to 36.1 percent shooting. Additionally, the Eagles, a team that has struggled to outwork opponents on the glass, out-rebounded the Bulldogs, 33-30.

The strength in the paint forced Yale to the perimeter. Naturally, the Bulldogs jacked up 25 3-pointers—this was somewhat successful. The Bulldogs strung together a 15-2 run early on in the latter half of play. Throughout the game, Tamara Simpson, Lena Munzer, and Mary Ann Santucci all hit multiple shots from beyond the arc. But ultimately, the Bulldog offense became one-dimensional. And when the treys stopped falling, BC returned to a comfortable advantage.

The Eagles especially buckled down on defense following a turnover. BC gave the ball up 20 times, but Yale could not capitalize, as the Eagles’ big men frequently initiated enough contact to disrupt Bulldog finishes, but not to draw a foul. That being said, the statistic still reveals one of BC’s lasting flaws. Like tonight, Johnson’s squad had turned the ball over 15 or more times in its previous two games. It lost both. The team’s occasional lack of ball control must be addressed.

To no surprise, Fasoula ended with her third consecutive 20-point performance. But it was the supporting cast which gave BC the win and hope for its upcoming stretch of play—something Johnson’s team has had difficulty finding this season.

Featured Image by Zoe Zhao / Heights Staff

December 7, 2016