Women's Basketball

Full-Court Press Haunts Eagles in Blowout Loss to Seton Hall

In each of its last three losses, Boston College women’s basketball entered halftime with a lead. But game after game, the Eagles have collapsed in the third quarter, so much so that there has often been too much ground for head coach Erik Johnson’s team to make up in the final quarter of play. BC dropped another game on Sunday to Seton Hall, but not because it fell apart in the second half. The Eagles were out of this game from the start, trailing by double digits at the half, and ultimately fell 73-53.

Less than a minute into the first quarter, the Pirates (7-2) switched to a full-court press, trapping and double-teaming BC’s (4-6) ball handlers. Taylor Ortlepp and Andie Anastos were hounded, often met with defenders the moment they turned up the court. At times panicking, the guards frequently coughed up the ball. Turnovers killed the Eagles in transition, consistently leading to open shots, both inside and out, for Seton Hall.

Although BC drew a pair of offensive fouls in the first quarter, its defensive intensity was lacking. Shooting just 22.2 percent from the field, the Eagles couldn’t seem to find any semblance of offensive flow. Missed 3-pointers, blown layups, and a lack of aggression, especially in half-court sets, resulted in a stagnant offense.

BC was unable to find a remedy for its shooting woes throughout the game, with sophomore forward Georgia Pineau being the only Eagle to hit double digits, scoring 18 points. Seton Hall’s defense refused to let up, forcing BC into another five turnovers during the second frame. Not only did the Pirates’ physicality create turnovers, but it also led to a scary moment. Just minutes into the second quarter, sophomore Emma Guy hit her head on the hardwood and laid on the court for a few minutes. Fortunately, the forward walked off the court on her own power, and returned to the game in the third period. At halftime, the Eagles trailed, 34-22, desperate for an offensive spark.

After the break, Guy logged six-straight points in the third quarter. But aside from the sophomore’s scoring spurt, BC’s production was severely limited. The Eagles’ prized freshmen, Milan Bolden-Morris and Sydney Lowery, came up short in providing the scoring punch the team needed. Bolden-Morris—the Eagles’ leading scorer—only mustered five points, shooting a mere 2-of-13 from the field and just 1-of-9 from beyond the arc. Lowery went 0-of-11 and was held scoreless for the first time in her career.

Trailing by double digits for the entire second half, BC was without a glimmer of hope. Seton Hall’s Donnaizha Fountain terrorized the Eagles’ frontcourt, recording a double-double—21 points, 10 rebounds. Jaquan Jackson chipped in 15 points to add insult to injury. BC was torn apart on both ends of the court. By the game’s end, the Eagles had committed 14 turnovers—a handful of which led to 16 Seton Hall points. As well as Seton Hall played defensively, it was the Eagles who were really responsible for their own lackadaisical performance. BC shot an abysmal 2-of-22 from downtown, under 10 percent on the day.

All game, the Pirates played to their defensive strengths and creating offense at will, while BC’s half-court sets faltered.

“Seton Hall did Seton Hall, better than BC did BC,” Johnson told reporters, following the game.  

The Pirates outplayed BC in practically every facet of the game. Throughout the first month of the season, the Eagles have had a hard time finishing games, and against Power Five teams, just staying afloat. Only time will tell what will happen when they enter ACC play.

Featured Image by Delaney Vorwick / Heights Staff

December 10, 2017