Sports, Basketball, Women's Basketball

Irish Drop 24 Third-Quarter Points in Win Over BC

When Boston College women’s basketball headed to South Bend Sunday, having beaten Notre Dame in thrilling fashion just 10 days prior, the Irish were out for revenge. 

And revenge is what they got. 

With senior guard Makayla Dickens sidelined due to COVID-19 protocols, BC (14–7, 5–5 Atlantic Coast) split its season series with Notre Dame, as the Irish (16–4, 7–2) walked away with a 74–61 victory. With the win, Notre Dame remained undefeated at home. 

“I do think it’s also hard to win when you’re just undermanned a little bit, like us not having [Dickens],” head coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee said in her postgame press conference. “[She] could probably start for us as well. She plays starter minutes. That shortened up what we had, as far as scoring goes.”

Scoring wasn’t a problem for BC early, though. After Notre Dame quickly took an 8–2 lead, the Eagles responded and controlled most of the first quarter, scoring 10 of the game’s next 12 points. The two teams entered the second quarter deadlocked at 14. 

A Marnelle Garraud jumper to open the second quarter gave the Eagles a two-point lead, which turned out to be the last time Notre Dame trailed. Led by sharpshooting freshman Olivia Miles, Notre Dame exploded for a 15–2 run to take control of the game. 

“What didn’t work for us was we just weren’t hitting our outside shots at all,” Bernabei-McNamee said. “So, you have the combination of one of their players taking over and our team just kind of going cold from the floor—it’s not a good look.”

With two minutes left to play in the half, BC had cut the deficit down to six points, but the ensuing plays encapsulated the Eagles’ issues all day.

After a block by Maria Gakdeng, BC looked to push the pace and score a quick transition basket. Instead, guard Kaylah Ivey’s pass attempt sailed out of bounds, putting the ball back in the Irish’s hands.

Down 35–27 at the end of the half—the exact same halftime tally of the teams’ last meeting—the game still was not out of reach for the Eagles, but BC continued to struggle.

Miles and the Irish continued to torch the Eagles in the third quarter, while BC forced early shots and wasted numerous possessions. Notre Dame ended the third quarter up 19 points. With two minutes left, Bernabei-McNamee emptied her bench, closing the door on her team’s second straight defeat. 

“For them, what went right is Olivia Miles played out of her mind and really took control of the game from the tip,” Bernabei-McNamee said. “We didn’t have a very good answer for her.” 

The Eagles only connected on 18.2 percent of their 3-point attempts and gave up 19 turnovers.  

Sunday’s loss marked the first time all season that the Eagles lost two consecutive games, but Bernabei-McNamee said her squad is already looking to turn the page. 

“I thought Notre Dame had a great game plan and they played really well—switching up from a man to a zone and continuing to keep us on our toes all game,” Bernabei-McNamee said. “For us, we just got to learn, we got to grow from these losses, and we got to get ready to play at home on Thursday.”

Featured Image by Leo Wang / Heights Staff

January 30, 2022