For the second time in five days, Boston College basketball was giving the University of Miami a scare at the very end of a game—but this time, it was Erik Johnson’s squad, rather than Jim Christian’s. The women, however, did not have any more luck than the men in pulling off a successful comeback, falling to the No. 17 Hurricanes, 58-51.
The Eagles (8-14, 1-8 Atlantic Coast) got off to a slow start, scoring just 18 points in the first half. BC scored nine of its 18 points in the first five minutes of the quarter, slowing down considerably for the second half of the first quarter and the entirety of the second quarter. Only four players scored in the half, with Mariella Fasoula and Kailey Edwards combining for 13 points.
Despite the slow start, BC kept it competitive in the first quarter and part of the second, staying neck-and-neck with Miami (16-5, 5-4)—BC even led for a stretch. A Kelly Hughes 3-pointer and an Edwards jumper gave BC a 9-6 lead halfway through the first. Miami’s Adrienne Motley knocked down a pair of free throws to trim BC’s lead to one point, but the Eagles clung to that lead for more than two minutes. Keyona Hayes and Khaila Prather made one free throw apiece in the final minutes of the quarter, so that Miami led 10-9 heading into the second quarter.
The second quarter was when the Eagles fell behind. With the game tied at 14 all, Hughes fouled Laura Cornelius in the act of shooting. Cornelius made both of her free throws, giving Miami a lead that it would not relinquish again.
The Hurricanes went on a mini-run, quickly building up a 10-point lead over the Eagles. Edwards hit a jumper to reduce Miami’s lead to single digits, but the Hurricanes responded with a pair of 3-pointers, increasing the lead to 14 points heading into halftime.
In previous games, BC has struggled coming out of the locker room, often allowing teams to build up insurmountable leads in the third quarter. Against Miami, the Eagles broke this trend. Although they could not completely catch up with the Hurricanes, they fought hard and kept the game relatively close, trimming the deficit to single digits on several occasions before Miami built it back up to 10 points. At one point, BC only trailed by six points. But at the end of the third quarter, Miami had regained a 10-point lead.
Throughout the last period of the game, BC inched closer and closer to the Hurricanes, eventually tying the game at 45 apiece with a little more than five minutes left. The teams traded baskets down the stretch, but neither could pull away for a comfortable lead. As late as 32 seconds from the end of the game, BC only trailed by three points. But, just as on Wednesday night for the men against the Hurricanes, the Eagles were not destined to complete a successful comeback victory.
Emilee Daley sent Hayes to the charity stripe with 31 seconds to go in the game, and Hayes knocked both shots down. Facing a five point deficit and half a minute remaining, Johnson called a timeout. But the play drawn up during the break was unsuccessful—Johnson wanted Hughes, his sharpshooter, with the ball in her hands, but her 3-point attempt was blocked by Motley. Hayes ended up with the ball, and Hughes quickly fouled her. Hayes missed both free throws—a gift for the Eagles, keeping the game just in reach with 17 seconds to go.
Johnson called another timeout. This time, Daley found the ball in her hands for a 3-point attempt, but her shot was off. Hayes made up for her missed free throws with a layup in the game’s final seconds, sealing the deal for Miami.
Missed free throws once again proved costly for the Eagles. BC shot 11-for-17 from the line, making only 64.7 percent of its opportunities. If the Eagles had been more accurate from the line, they could have left Coral Gables with a victory over a ranked opponent. Instead, BC returned to Chestnut Hill with its eighth-straight loss.
Featured Image by Celine Lim / Heights Staff