With tournament hopes on the line, Thursday evening’s matchup between Boston College women’s basketball and Florida State quickly developed into a slugfest.
Despite trailing for most of the first half, the Seminoles (14–11, 8–7 Atlantic Coast) found their rhythm in the second half and dealt BC (16–10, 7–8) a 66–58 loss.
“That was a tough one,” head coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee said after the game. “I thought both teams played really hard. I thought we played hard. We just couldn’t buy a shot.”
It was all Maria Gakdeng to start the game. In addition to scoring the Eagles’ first seven points, the freshman center dominated defensively and on the glass.
The Eagles found much of their first-quarter offensive success in the paint, since—like the Seminoles—they struggled to shoot the basketball. BC shot 30.4 percent and Florida State shot 27.3 percent in the first quarter.
Senior guard Cameron Swartz had a cold start to the night, going 1 of 12 from the field in the first half. Led by Gakdeng, however, the Eagles made up for their shooting woes by controlling the offensive glass.
“I think [Gakdeng] just did a great job in the first half really controlling boards,” Bernabei-McNamee said. “I thought our guards did a nice job crashing. … We took a concerted effort to block out.”
BC entered the second quarter up six points and in control. But while the Eagles’ physicality had given BC the edge in the first quarter, it began taking a toll on the Eagles, as four players had picked up two fouls each midway through the quarter.
Florida State found its shot in the second quarter. With some of BC’s starters on the bench in foul trouble, the Seminoles caught fire and went on a 6–0 run midway through the quarter to cut their deficit to one.
“We had to play kind of crazy lineups where we were up eight or nine points, and then we had to play different lineups that kind of made the game a little bit more even,” Bernabei-McNamee said. “There were 43 fouls called in the game. It’s hard not to be in foul trouble when they’re going to call that many fouls, and there really wasn’t much flow.”
With just over two minutes left to play in the half, the Seminoles led for the first time all night, and they took that lead into the locker room.
BC’s shooting struggles persisted in the second half. The Seminoles tightened up their rebounding and expanded their lead as a result. After BC made its first 3-pointer with two minutes left in the third quarter, the Eagles struggled to generate offense and trailed by six heading into the final frame.
Down nine just seconds into the fourth quarter, Swartz started to take over. Though Florida State continued to match her scoring, Swartz carried the BC offense through the final 10 minutes, scoring 11 points.
With under four minutes remaining and the Seminoles’ lead down to four, the Eagles had all the momentum, as Florida State continued to struggle at the free-throw line. BC’s offensive engine was finally humming.
The Eagles had a number of chances to even the game, but their shooting woes returned in the final minutes, ending their hopes for a comeback victory. BC finished the night shooting 9.5 percent from beyond the arc against a Florida State team that ranks 13th in the ACC in 3-pointers allowed.
“Hopefully we take the frustration of this game out on our next game,” Bernabei-McNamee said. “Because at this point in the year, we’ve just got to move forward and really start focusing on Wake Forest.”
Featured Image by Leo Wang / Heights Staff