Women's Basketball

Eagles Frontcourt Dominates in ACC Debut Against Clemson

Enjoy it while it lasts—the Eagles are undefeated in 2017.

Boston College women’s basketball followed up a dominant offensive performance by the men’s team on New Year’s Day with a stout defensive effort against Clemson, conceding the second-fewest points this season in a 60-48 win in the ACC opener.

Mariella Fasoula posted a double-double with 19 points and 11 boards. Australian freshman Georgia Pineau only missed one shot on her way to a 14-point evening. And senior sharpshooter Kelly Hughes finished with two 3-pointers and 12 points to lead the way for BC (8-6, 1-0 Atlantic Coast). The stringent defense, anchored by the Eagles’ frontcourt duo of Fasoula and Pineau, limited the Tigers to 36 percent shooting from the field and 0-of-6 from beyond the arc.

Head coach Erik Johnson watched as his bigs scored the first 10 points of the game, validating his vision for a program built on a strong frontcourt. After one quarter of play, BC’s forwards proved too much for Clemson (11-3, 0-1) as the Tigers trailed 17-12. But it wasn’t long until they clawed back in the second quarter with back-to-back layups from Alexis Carter, cutting the deficit to just one point. A pair of free throws from Danielle Edwards gave Clemson its first lead of the game with 27 seconds remaining in the half, but Fasoula converted a layup before halftime to regain the lead for the Eagles.

In the second half, BC’s inside presence began creating opportunities on the perimeter. Emilee Daley drained two 3-pointers in the third quarter to give the Eagles some breathing room. And, as per usual, Fasoula and Pineau continued to attack the paint and protect it on their own end.

Daley passed the sharpshooting torch to Hughes in the final frame. The senior guard made her only two long-distance attempts of the night to break open the game in the fourth quarter. Pineau’s physicality eventually backfired when she fouled out of the game, but by then, it was too late for the Tigers to mount a comeback.

Just as men’s basketball has appeared to find its identity lately, so has Johnson’s women’s team—only, it’s clear that its strength lies in the frontcourt. Fasoula and Pineau have catalyzed a six-game winning streak and presented a serious problem for opposing bigs. What’s more, the pair of underclassmen aren’t going anywhere soon. If the guards can do their part in the inside-out game,  the Eagles are sure to improve upon their 2-14 conference record of last season. One game into the conference slate, they’re already halfway there.

Featured Image by Zoe Zhao / Heights Staff

January 2, 2017