Sports, Basketball, Women's Basketball

Four Eagles Tally Double Digits in Dominant Win Over Pitt

According to Boston College women’s basketball head coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee, the beauty of her team is that it sees contributions from every part of its roster. 

“We’re the type of team where someone different can step up any night and have a big night,” Bernabei-McNamee said. “But at the end of the day, our best player is our entire team.”

The offense came from all over for the Eagles (12–4, 3–2 Atlantic Coast) Thursday night, with four players scoring in double figures on the way to a 75–64 win over Pittsburgh (9–7, 0–5). With the win, BC earned its fourth straight win and third straight ACC win after starting 0–2 in the conference. 

On Sunday, senior Cameron Swartz tied BC’s program record with 39 points in a win over Clemson. Thursday was a calmer night for Swartz, as BC’s two leading scorers Taylor Soule and Swartz shot 3-of-13 and 6-of-16 from the field, respectively. The Eagles found offense elsewhere, moving the ball well.

“I like that we’re an unselfish team,” Bernabei-McNamee said. “We’re the type of team that’s going to pass up a good shot for a great shot.”

Freshman center Maria Gakdeng continued her stellar play for the Eagles, scoring 14 points on 7-of-8 shooting and blocking five shots on the defensive end. Last week, Gakdeng earned her third straight ACC Freshman of the Week honors, averaging 15 points on 76.5 percent shooting, 8.5 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game throughout BC’s past two games. 

Senior guard Makayla Dickens was another standout, coming off the bench to score 14 points—including four 3-pointers—grab six rebounds, and dish out five assists. 

Heading into the matchup, BC ranked first in the country in field goal percentage, shooting 48.8 percent as a team. Against Pitt, the Eagles shot 44.4 percent to finish a combined 28-of-63 from the field and 8-of-18 from three. 

As a team, BC finished with 20 assists compared to Pitt’s seven, but the Eagles matched that assist total with 20 turnovers. 

“It’s like our kryptonite,” Bernabei-McNamee said. “We got to clean up those turnovers. But I also don’t want to play slow and tight in the process.” 

Pace of play has been a strength of the Eagles’ all year, and while they don’t seem intent on sacrificing that strength, taking care of the ball can help BC get to the 85–90 point per game threshold where it wants to be, according to Bernabei-McNamee. 

BC will next face Louisville (14–1, 4–0). Last time the two teams met, then-No. 3 Louisville dominated defensively, holding the Eagles to 49 points and forcing 21 turnovers. Neither team has lost since they last met on Dec. 30, and Louisville has held its rank as the No. 3 team in the country, something Bernabei-McName said her players are excited about.    

“I think they’re all chomping at the bit to go show what they’re made of against the No. 3 team in the country,” Bernabei-McName said. “You know, iron sharpens iron, and that’s what’s great about the ACC.” 

Featured Image by Aditya Rao / Heights Staff

January 15, 2022