In its last non-conference game of the season, Boston College women’s basketball will take on Maine in a final tune-up before ACC play. If the Eagles’ (5-7) play over the month of December is any indication, it appears as if the team is due for a victory. In its last five games, BC has alternated wins and losses. After suffering an eight-point loss to Providence last week, the Eagles need a bounce-back performance on Thursday to get back in the win column.
In their only other contest against an American East conference opponent this season, the Eagles had to rally against New Hampshire to win an overtime thriller. Meanwhile, the Black Bears (6-6) enter having lost their past two games by a combined 70 points, albeit against elite foes—No. 5 Mississippi State and No. 14 Duke.
Who is BC playing?
When is BC playing?
Thursday, Dec. 28, 7 p.m.
Where is BC playing?
Conte Forum, Chestnut Hill, Mass.
How to Watch:
The game will be livestreamed on ACC Network Extra.
By the Numbers:
1) Either Georgia Pineau or Milan Bolden-Morris has led the Eagles in scoring in each of the past four games, yet neither has topped 20 points. The Eagles have been held to fewer than 60 points in three of their last five matchups, including their overtime win against New Hampshire.
2) In its loss to Providence last weekend, BC shot just 12 times from the line, while the Friars doubled that total with two dozen free throw attempts. The Eagles have struggled to get to the charity stripe, ranking close to 200th in the country in attempts.
3) The Eagles have only recorded five steals in each of their past four games, half of which came from Taylor Ortlepp, who has had at least two takeaways in every contest during that stretch. Their average of 5.2 steals per game ranks last in the ACC.
1) The Black Bears have averaged 79 points per game in each of their wins this season, but just 54 points per game in their six losses.
2) Blanca Millan has recorded double-digit scoring figures in 10-straight games and has tallied a steal in every game this season. She ranks fourth in the America East in scoring (16.8 points per game) and first in steals per game (3.0).
3) Maine made just six of its 43 shots from beyond the arc in its most recent loss to Duke, way off its 30.8 percent season average. The Black Bears are one of the most 3-point happy teams in the country, ranking 17th in total 3-pointers attempted.
The Eagles bested the Black Bears, 64-53, in Conte Forum on the penultimate day of the year last season. Pineau led the way with 16 points and seven rebounds on 70 percent shooting, while Ortlepp provided 10 points of her own, shooting 4-for-6 from the field. The Eagles started the game on a 10-0 run and never looked back, holding the lead the rest of the way. BC scored 28 points in the second quarter alone, a feat that has yet to be accomplished this season.
BC Wins if…
It holds down Maine on the defensive end. The Eagles have made between 20 and 25 of their field goal attempts in every game this season. With that kind of offensive consistency, it will be up to the defense to put a stop to a Black Bear team that puts up an astounding 62 shots per game. If the Eagles can get off to a quick start like they did against Maine last year and force them to take tough shots early on, they should have no problems in this one.
BC Loses if…
It fails to take care of the basketball. The Black Bears have a knack for getting to the ball and average 18 points off turnovers per game this season. After two tough losses to talented Power Five teams, Maine will be coming to BC with a sense of urgency, which may lead to a more aggressive defensive approach. Bolden-Morris has displayed strong leadership for the Eagles in her first season, but given that she has committed four turnovers in three of the team’s past five games, Maine will look to take advantage of her inconsistent ball security. Meanwhile, Pineau has coughed up nine turnovers in the Eagles’ past two contests. If BC fails to take care of the ball and play Thursday’s game at its own pace, the Black Bears may pull off the upset.
Featured Image by Kaitlin Meeks / Heights Staff