It’s the latest edition of our weekly roundup, where we take a look at another action-packed week in the world of Boston College Athletics. With the bulk of the spring sports season, as well as the beginning of postseason play for both hockey and basketball teams on the way, there’s a lot to catch up on. Here are some of the things we’ve seen in the past week.
Men’s Basketball Wins at Home but Continues to Struggle on the Road
The week started well for the Eagles, who faced Louisville at home on Wednesday and held the Cardinals to 32.8-percent shooting on the night. Ky Bowman exploded for 25 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists, and BC closed the game on a 15-8 run to beat Louisville, 66-59, and pick up a huge ACC win.
The Eagles’ trip down to Georgia Tech on Sunday, however, didn’t go nearly as well, especially on the defensive end. The Yellow Jackets entered the game as the lowest-scoring team in the conference but turned 12 offensive rebounds into 19 second-chance points and shot 50.8-percent from the floor to beat BC, 81-78, in overtime. Nik Popovic tallied a career-high 24 points for the Eagles, but it wasn’t enough as Bowman missed a 3-pointer at the overtime buzzer that would have sent the game into double overtime. For more coverage of the game, check out our recap here.
Lacrosse Completes Another Perfect Week
BC started one of the toughest portions of its schedule with a home contest against Dartmouth—a team that received votes in the preseason US Lacrosse poll—and was tested in the first half, as the Big Green scored first and prevented the Eagles from running away with the game in the opening frame as they have often done to start the season. After leading just 9-6 at halftime, though, BC’s offense caught fire in the second period, scoring 11 goals to erase any doubt of an upset and boosting the Eagles to a 20-10 win. Sam Apuzzo led the way with 10 points, while Kenzie Kent recorded six assists and added a goal of her own.
An even bigger test was in store on Friday, though, as BC faced a No. 24 Southern California team that took the Eagles to overtime in 2018. For a while, it looked like BC was poised to dominate the Trojans, as Apuzzo recorded a first-half hat trick to stake the Eagles to an 8-2 lead at the break, but USC responded well in the second half. The Trojans went on a 6-2 run to cut the deficit to 10-8 and provide some tense moments late, but two free-position goals from Taylor Walker gave BC enough of a cushion to claim a 12-9 victory.
Women’s Basketball Can’t Snap the Losing Skid
In the final game of the regular season on Saturday, the Eagles hosted No. 17 Syracuse at Conte Forum, seeking revenge for a 96-69 blowout on Feb. 10 while also looking to break a seven-game losing streak. For a time, it looked like BC had a shot, as it trailed the Orange just 30-29 going into halftime. Ultimately, though, Syracuse’s Tiana Mangakahia proved to be too much to handle, scoring 20 of her game-high 27 points in the second half, as the Orange pulled away from the Eagles to win, 76-59. Emma Guy continued her history of performing well against Syracuse, scoring a team-high 17 points for BC.
Men’s Hockey Splits a Weekend Series with No. 9 Northeastern
The weekend started off with Senior Night for men’s hockey, as Michael Kim, J.D. Dudek, Ian Milosz, Casey Fitzgerald, and Christopher Brown were all honored for their contributions to the program over the past four years, which include a Frozen Four appearance and three Hockey East regular season titles. In their final home game at Conte Forum, the seniors went out winners, as Fitzgerald tied the game at 1-1 in the second period before goals from Marc McLaughlin and David Cotton in the third period sealed a 3-1 win over No. 9 Northeastern for the Eagles. For a recap of the game, click here.
The Huskies returned the favor on Saturday night, as Cayden Primeau made 41 saves, while Northeastern broke the game open with goals from Patrick Schule and Brandon Hawkins early in the third period. Cotton scored again, and Aapeli Räsänen added another goal with under a minute left in the game, but the Huskies held on to win, 4-2.
Women’s Hockey Sweeps UConn in Hockey East Quarterfinals
For women’s hockey, postseason action began with a Hockey East quarterfinal series against seventh-seeded Connecticut. On Friday, BC had no problems, as Delaney Belinskas and Kali Flanagan notched goals 40 seconds apart early in the second period to open the scoring gates, and Makenna Newkirk and Megan Keller lit the lamp in the third period to lift the Eagles to a 4-1 win.
Saturday was a different story. Lindsay Agnew once again ensured that BC claimed an early lead with a goal just under three minutes in, but the Huskies responded with three unanswered goals to leap out to a 3-1 advantage just under halfway into the second period and raise serious questions about the possibility of a third game. Instead, the Eagles responded, as Erin Connolly stepped up with two goals before Newkirk completed the comeback with a scoring play off a rebound to put BC up, 4-3. UConn would send the game into overtime after pulling goaltender Mia Fisher late in the third period, but Ryan Little played hero, notching the overtime winner to send the Eagles into the Hockey East semifinals against rival Boston University. For more coverage of the game, check out our summary here.
Baseball Splits Four Games in Kentucky
Continuing a lengthy road stretch to begin the season, BC traveled to Kentucky for two games apiece against Evansville and Eastern Kentucky. The weekend didn’t start promisingly, as the Eagles’ bats were kept quiet in the first game against the Aces—a 4-0 loss—but BC rebounded against the Colonels. Jake Alu hit a tie-breaking three-run home run in the top of the sixth inning, and the Eagles claimed their first win of the weekend against Eastern Kentucky.
Saturday, BC finally managed to manufacture some runs against Evansville but couldn’t complete a late comeback. Consecutive bases-loaded walks trimmed a 4-1 deficit to 4-3 in the seventh, but Brian Dempsey grounded out to end the threat, and BC couldn’t score in the final two frames. Against the Colonels in the weekend finale, though, the Eagles slapped the ball all over the yard, scoring 13 runs on 13 base hits and breaking open the game with an eight-run seventh inning. Freshman Mason Pelio was spectacular on the mound, pitching seven innings of one-run baseball before Travis Lane closed out the 13-2 win. For a recap of the weekend, check out our coverage here.
Softball Drops Three of Five in Florida
Softball also spent another weekend away from home, traveling to Madeira Beach, Fla., for a set of five games against St. John’s, Penn State, Central Michigan, Georgia Southern, and Tennessee-Chattanooga. Much like previous weekend tournaments thus far, the Eagles suffered mixed results. Against the Red Storm to start the weekend, BC allowed four runs in the fourth inning, a frame which doomed the Eagles to a 6-3 defeat. Then, against the Nittany Lions, BC blew a 4-0 lead and dropped a 5-4 decision. The Eagles would rebound to win two of the last three games of the weekend and saved their best performance for last, as the offense sparked BC to a 9-6 win over the Mocs. Lexi DiEmmanuele—who became the programs all-time leader in stolen bases with two steals against the Chippewas—provided the biggest hit of the contest, a two-run triple in the seventh inning that staked the Eagles to an 8-5 lead.
Women’s Tennis Continues to Slide in ACC Play
The losing streak hit five games for women’s tennis, which dropped 6-1 decisions to Wake Forest and Clemson over the weekend. Natasha Irani was the bright spot for the Eagles, recording two wins in singles play, but BC struggled against a plethora of highly-ranked opponents. Yufei Long and Jackie Urbinati dropped the doubles point against the Tigers to the top-ranked doubles team in the country in Marie Leduc and Fernanda Navarro, and Kylie Wilcox lost a tough singles decision to No. 40 Emma Davis versus the Demon Deacons.
Moment of the Week: Sam Apuzzo Breaks the BC Lacrosse Record for Career Points
With her first point against USC Friday, Apuzzo became the all-time leading point scorer in Eagles program history, breaking Covie Stanwick’s record of 309. Coming off a phenomenal campaign that saw her win the Tewaaraton Award, Apuzzo has picked up right where she left off in 2018, leading the nation in goals per game this season.
Lacrosse hits the road for games against ranked foes in No. 17 Navy and No. 5 Northwestern,
Men’s basketball welcomes No. 3 North Carolina and North Carolina State to Conte Forum on Tuesday and Saturday, respectively.
Women’s basketball heads to Greensboro, N.C., for the ACC Tournament and faces Virginia in the first round Wednesday.
Baseball plays midweek at Kentucky before opening conference play with a weekend series against Louisville.
Softball has games against Pennsylvania, Central Florida, and Florida International.
Men’s hockey has its final game of the regular season against Providence,
Women’s hockey takes the ice against Boston University in the Hockey East semifinals on Saturday.
Men’s tennis takes on University of California Irvine on Thursday.
Featured Image by Bradley Smart / Heights Editor