Even in bright and sunny Miami, a low cloud still hung over Boston College women’s basketball. After a long string of COVID-19-related postponements, followed by a heartbreaking three-point loss to Pitt as the Eagles returned to play on Tuesday, BC was looking to change the narrative in Coral Gables on Thursday night. The Eagles’ game against Miami was originally scheduled for Jan. 31, but COVID-19-related issues pushed the game back nearly three weeks.
In the long-awaited matchup, the Eagles (5-10, 1-10 Atlantic Coast) held their own, maintaining the lead for the majority of the game, but came up short against the Hurricanes (9-10, 6-10) on Thursday night down south. A key factor in Miami’s success was Destiny Harden, as the redshirt junior forward from Chicago banked 20 points, nine rebounds, and was a force to be reckoned with on the defensive end. Despite BC’s four-point lead at halftime, Miami surged back with a 27-point fourth quarter to secure a 77-60 win.
BC started off strong by winning the tipoff, and Marnelle Garraud quickly drained a deep 3-pointer. Miami opened up the game with a few missed opportunities, which BC capitalized on to pull away with an early lead.
After an 8-0 BC run and nearly three and a half minutes without scoring a point, Taylor Mason finally put Miami on the board with a triple. Both teams were playing tight defense with a lot of energy, forcing turnovers on both ends of the court. BC turned its change of possession opportunities into points on the board while Miami continued to struggle to get its shots to fall. The Eagles finished the quarter on a high note with a buzzer-beater from Jaelyn Batts, heading off the court after 10 minutes with a 17-13 lead.
The second quarter blared a similar story to the first as the Eagles used their high energy and defensive skills to hold onto a slim lead going into the locker room at the half.
The game began to take a turn after halftime as the Hurricanes stormed back from their deficit. BC didn’t score for the last three and a half minutes of the third quarter, which gave Hurricanes Harden and Naomi Mbandu enough time to hit a layup and 3-pointer respectively, to put Miami ahead by two points at the end of the quarter.
In addition to Harden’s standout performance, four hurricanes each scored 11 points. Endia Banks, Mason, Karla Erjavec, and Kelsey Marshall rounded out the ’Canes’ top five scorers. On BC’s side of the ball, Taylor Soule stuffed the stat sheet with 15 points and seven rebounds. She did so on just 7-of-15 shooting, and the Eagles finished the night completing on just 39 percent of their shots.
With the game neck and neck, the final quarter was an intense matchup, but Miami quickly began to run away with the lead. Between holding BC to long scoreless stretches and forcing numerous turnovers, Miami pulled off a 15-2 run to secure a comfortable lead over the Eagles. Although BC tried to chip its way back in as the game clock wound down, it was too little too late, and Miami found itself 17 points ahead, the largest lead of the night for either side.
Three key players—Batts, Soule, and Makayla Dickens—contributed heavily to the team effort, all scoring double-digit points. The Eagles also stayed competitive with 14 offensive rebounds and eight steals. Even so, Miami won the battle of the boards 41-30 and shot nearly 50 percent from the field, overpowering the Eagles as they still struggle to regain their footing.
Featured Image by Leo Wang / Heights Staff