Last season, Boston College women’s basketball largely coasted through non-conference play on the strength of a prolific offense and a defense that allowed more than 70 points just once. After a 2-0 start, though, the Eagles have shown regression on both sides of the floor in their last two games. The latest setback came on Sunday against former Big East rival Providence, which stormed out to a 21-6 lead in the first six and a half minutes and never looked back in a 76-60 win.
Providence (3-0) was a tough matchup for the Eagles (2-2), and it didn’t help that BC was coming off a sloppy performance against Holy Cross. The Eagles got 18 points and seven rebounds from Taylor Soule—who had left the matchup with the Crusaders due to injury—but shot just 36.5 percent from the field in the loss. Providence was paced by the duo of Kaela Webb and Kyra Spiwak, who combined for 35 points and hit all seven of the Friars’ 3-pointers.
BC struck first blood, as Emma Guy was fed down low by Makayla Dickens. Soon after that, though, Guy turned the ball over twice—then Georgia Pineau and Milan Bolden-Morris each lost it—and the Friars capitalized. Dickens, Jaelyn Batts, Soule, and Cameron Swartz all missed layups that should have been easy points for the Eagles. Meanwhile, Providence was enjoying a hot start to the game and would go on to shoot 66 percent in the first half.
The second quarter had some good moments for BC. Dickens, Sydney Lowery, and Marnelle Garraud drilled 3-pointers, and Lowery also recorded a steal. Unfortunately for the Eagles, the positive plays were tainted by the additional turnovers they committed in the quarter, including three from Swartz. Providence piled up 49 first-half points to the Eagles’ 31, with eight different Friars etching their names on the scorecard.
In the second half, BC started out with Soule finding success in the paint and not much else, after Guy scored off an assist from Pineau. Soule and Dickens missed layups they should have made, but the Eagles managed to play solid defense in the third quarter. They made a slim dent in the deficit, finishing the quarter with an 18-17 edge, but still trailed by 17 and would need an inspired effort to make it close.
That effort didn’t come, though, as the fourth quarter consisted of fouls and more turnovers. Pineau had four personals, including a technical in the last second of the game. Lowery committed a foul as well and then turned the ball over to the Friars when she got the ball back. A few 3-pointer and layup attempts were missed, and the Eagles ended up scoring only 11 points in the frame, one more than Providence, which was holding onto a double-digit lead.
Guy finished with 10 points, six rebounds, and a block in the loss, the team’s second in a row. She played all but two minutes of the second half but only took four shot attempts as the Eagles struggled to get inside at times and settled for outside shots.
Besides turning the ball over a few times too many, BC did pretty well in the paint, where it scored a total of 34 points. The problem the Eagles face is their long range shooting, as they are currently only converting on 28 percent of their 3-point attempts, a mark that ranks 203rd in the country.
BC also had its struggles on the defensive end of the court. The Eagles couldn’t contain Webb, Providence’s leading scorer who came into the matchup averaging 18 points per game and boasting a 10-for-19 mark from the 3-point line. Webb highlighted many of the Eagles’ weaknesses on defense, as she alone managed to score 18 points. BC seemed to lose a bit of control on defense, especially with the threat of Webb, as well as her teammate Spiwak.
It was a difficult loss and a tough two-game road trip for head coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee and her team. The Eagles play their next two games at home, though, and have a good chance to right the ship with Rhode Island—who lost 21 games last year—and VCU on tap.
Featured Image by Aneesa Wermers / For The Heights