Following a trend that plagued Boston College women’s basketball last season, turnovers were the Eagles’ kryptonite in their matchup against Ohio State on Sunday.
BC (1–2) played with all-out effort but couldn’t stop No. 14 Ohio State (3–0) from controlling the ball and recorded 36 turnovers, leading to an 82–64 loss.
“I think turnovers were the name of our demise,” said head coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee. “Ohio State, they just kept the heat coming, and we just really did not adjust. I don’t even think we ever adjusted fully to it.”
BC averaged 22 turnovers a game entering the game, but by halftime, Ohio State had already forced 20. Ohio State scored 39 points off turnovers.
BC won the jump ball at the start of the game and immediately began putting pressure on the Buckeyes. The Eagles moved the ball up the court quickly and evaded Ohio State’s defense, keeping it a close game early.
In their game against Havard on Thursday, the Eagles started slowly and timidly, a stark contrast to their early play on Sunday.
BC continued to struggle with shooting 3-pointers, making just one shot from behind the arc. Ohio State, meanwhile, logged seven 3-pointers.
The Buckeyes’ full-court press tripped up BC. The Eagles’ speed turned into frenzied play, and they began throwing the ball away up the court, out of bounds, or directly into the hands of Ohio State’s players.
The Buckeyes had even more success on the press in the second quarter and completely shut down the Eagles. While Ohio State was only ahead 17–16 at the end of the first quarter, the Buckeyes outscored BC by 16 points in the second quarter, heading into halftime ahead 42–25.
Bernabei-McNamee attributed the slump to BC’s youth and lack of confidence. BC is one of only two Power Five teams without any seniors on its roster, relying heavily on its underclassmen.
“What I would like to see as the season goes on from us is understanding what we’re trying to get out of our offense to be able to move the ball a little bit smoother,” Bernabei-McNamee said. “In that second quarter, I thought we looked not very confident out there. So I think with growth you’re going to see a much more confident team as the year goes on.”
Despite struggling to keep control of the ball, four BC players reached double-digit scoring on Sunday. Maria Gakdeng led the Eagles with 13 points. JoJo Lacey and Andrea Daely were close behind with 11 points, and T’Yana Todd tallied 10. Daley’s 11 points were a career high, and she also logged seven rebounds, two blocks, and one assist.
BC picked things up in the second half, but the damage was already done. The Eagles got more shots off and drew more fouls but continued to be limited by turning over the ball. Eleven turnovers in the third quarter put the Eagles well above their already-high turnover average and handed the Buckeyes the 82–64 win.
“As a non-conference game, this was a really good one to kind of have some fun and learn from and grow,” Bernabei-McNamee said.