After a 43-point shellacking of Massachusetts Lowell on opening night, Boston College women’s basketball didn’t let up on Sunday afternoon. In a matchup with St. Francis of Brooklyn, the Eagles continued their dominance of non-conference foes—a trend that carried over from last year—winning by a decisive 106-69 margin.
The lopsided contest was the result of BC’s (2-0) dominant effort on both ends of the floor. Sophomore Taylor Soule led the way for the Eagles, scoring a career-high 24 points in just 20 minutes, while Cameron Swartz and Milan Bolden-Morris added 18 and 17 points, respectively. The Eagles were equally impressive defensively, forcing 21 turnovers and holding the Terriers (0-3) to a 36.2 percent clip from the field.
Though the Eagles cleared the century mark, the game didn’t begin with an offensive explosion. It did start with BC taking absolute control of the glass, though. After stalemating on the boards with UMass Lowell, the Eagles controlled the rebound column against St. Francis, securing six offensive boards in the first quarter alone.
“That’s going to be our trademark,” head coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee said. “We’re going to work hard on the defensive and offensive boards moving forward.”
Soule kickstarted BC’s offense, shooting 5-of-6 from the field and scoring 12 of her 24 total points in the first quarter. Soule’s athleticism simply could not be matched by any St. Francis defender. She relentlessly drove to the rim and scored with ease. Soule also recorded a steal in the first quarter, leaping over the courtside seats to bat the ball back toward Makayla Dickens. Swartz caught fire midway through the first, too. She connected on two 3-point attempts, and Bolden-Morris added another for good measure. BC led, 31-19, at the break, and it was clear that there would be no end to the Eagles’ offensive barrage.
In the second quarter, the buckets kept coming for BC, both on the break and in its half-court sets. Bolden-Morris opened the Eagles’ scoring in the second period by connecting on a deep 3-pointer off an inside-out feed from Soule. Moments later, Soule recorded an emphatic block on St. Francis guard Alyssa Fisher. From there, the tempo picked up and BC scored its next two baskets in transition. Emma Guy got on the board off a feed from Swartz, and Soule drove to the rim and scored again while being fouled to put the Eagles up by 16.
St. Francis then shaved a few points off the Eagles’ lead, mostly thanks to Jade Johnson’s 3-point shooting, until Swartz answered back with her third trey of the game. Bolden-Morris, an accomplished perimeter shooter, then proved she was more than just a catch-and shoot player. Bolden-Morris repeatedly drove inside to score and hit the offensive glass hard, recording 11 points and a pair of offensive rebounds in the second quarter. BC’s first half-offense set a new school record, scoring 63 points in the first 20 minutes of play.
The Eagles further ran away with the game in the second half. BC’s already solid defense stiffened even further as the Terriers would only go on to score just 24 points in the final 20 minutes. Dickens got a tough layup to go on a baseline drive to put the Eagles up 20, and Swartz completed an awkward and-one play in transition to put BC up, 72-49.
By the end of the third quarter, BC led by 21 points and Soule had her new career high. Both coaches let their benches play out the final quarter with Jaelyn Batts and Clara Ford playing solid developmental minutes. Swartz put the exclamation point on the game with another acrobatic eurostep finish to log BC’s 100th point.
“I think this is more like the Cam that you’ll see on a consistent basis,” Bernabei-McNamee said. “I feel like all of our guards want to make that rushed decision with the ball, but I think Cam looked like she settled down and played a really good game.”
With Swartz quickly coming into her own and the usual suspects contributing—Emma Guy had 11 points, Georgia Pineau had nine points and 10 rebounds, and Dickens had 12 points—the Eagles are showing the same offensive powerhouse that they displayed last season during non-conference play. Whether that will translate to the ACC won’t be determined for another month, but for now, BC is in good shape entering two road games against Holy Cross and Providence.
Featured Image by Aneesa Werners / For The Heights