It’s hard to forget Makayla Dickens’ 25 point game last year to lead the Eagles to a 92-90 double overtime win against Duke. Before then, the Eagles (5-5, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) had only beaten the Blue Devils (7-3, 1-0) three times. BC had the opportunity to repeat history Sunday afternoon, but after playing catchup for the majority of the game, the Eagles fell to the Blue Devils 73-85 in their conference opener.
BC made quick moves to open up the first quarter with two points from Taylor Soule, but the Blue Devils immediately responded with two of their own points from Haley Gorecki. Heading into the first media timeout, the Eagles held onto a one-point lead following four points from Soule. BC’s lead was quickly dashed, however, after Miela Goodchild and Leaonna Odom posted eight unanswered points. Soule attempted to make a comeback, but Duke only added to its lead, and the Eagles closed out the first quarter nine points behind their ACC rivals.
Both teams opened the second quarter on shaky feet. Marnelle Garraud missed a 3-pointer attempt, and Odom missed a jump shot. It was two minutes before either team was able to add any points to the board. Soule was able to get past the Blue Devils’ defense to close the gap, and after a layup by Dickens, the Eagles were inching closer to Duke.
The Blue Devils’ offense was quiet to start the frame, but after four unanswered points by the Eagles, they came out swinging. After posting only two points in the first four minutes of the quarter, Goodchild’s successful 3-point attempt put Duke safely ahead of the Eagles.
But despite being 10 points behind Duke, BC wasn’t dissuaded. Garraud and Dickens teamed up to post eight points between them, and heading into a media timeout, the Eagles had closed the gap to a narrow two points.
Those two points were the closest the Eagles were able to get to the Blue Devils. The Eagles were consistently trailing by at least five in the closing minutes of the quarter, unable to get down the court. After two free throws by Georgia Pineau put BC within four, a 3-pointer by Gorecki kept the Eagles out of arm’s length, and the first half closed out with the Eagles trailing behind by six points.
After playing catch-up for most of the first half, the Eagles had something to prove. It wasn’t the Eagles, however, who came out swinging. Three straight points from Gorecki within the first minute of the frame set the Eagles back even further.
The Eagles responded with four points of their own, but a foul on Pineau only widened the gap once more. Following two free throws by Soule, the Blue Devils responded with six unanswered points.
Trailing by 11, the media timeout with four minutes left in the quarter could not come sooner for the Eagles. Despite Soule’s leading 14 points, they couldn’t solve Duke’s defense to close the gap. Even though BC posted five points following the timeout, three consecutive 3-pointers by Odom and Goodchild solidified Duke’s lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Despite opening the frame with a 3-pointer from Sydney Lowery, the Eagles couldn’t continue the momentum past that. Duke quickly controlled possession of the ball and continued its dominant campaign.
Heading into the first media timeout of the frame, the Eagles still trailed by 11. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Dickens and Cameron Swartz made it look as though the tides were beginning to turn, but the Blue Devils immediately responded with 10 unanswered points of their own. Soule was able to add two points for the Eagles from free throws, but a layup from Jada Claude solidified Duke’s win and response to last year’s matchup.
This loss extends BC’s losing streak, with the team now 1-3 in its last four contests. The Eagles have only won a single game on the road so far this season, which came against Tulane in the Puerto Rico Classic. BC will continue its streak of road games this upcoming weekend in another non-conference matchup against Boston University. But for now, the Eagles have the week to work on their blemishes and improve their game for their next stretch of matchups.
Featured Image by Ikram Ali / Heights Editor