Trailing 62–60 with 6:20 to go in the fourth quarter, Boston College women’s basketball found itself an opportunity to regain the lead in a tightly contested matchup. Freshman forward Nene Ndiaye drew a foul on a 3-point shot and went to the stripe for free throws.
Following a timeout, Ndiaye stepped up to the free-throw line and nailed all three of her shots, giving the Eagles a one-point lead over Wisconsin. But Ndiaye’s clutch free throws wouldn’t be enough to propel BC to a win, as this would be its last lead of the night.
The Eagles found themselves at the line plenty of times throughout the game. BC earned free-throw attempts thanks to aggressive play and constantly putting pressure on its opponents.
BC (3–4) attempted 24 free throws, converting 19 of them, but still was unable to pull away from the Badgers (4–2) in Saturday’s 82–72 loss. While the Eagles were consistent with free throws, persistent shooting struggles was the root of their defeat in the Fort Myers Tip-Off Shell Division third-place game.
“We’ve been in a little bit of a shooting slump,” BC head coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee said. “We’ve got to keep playing with confidence, we’ve got to keep thinking the next shot’s gonna go in.”
Guard Andrea Daley followed up her career-high outing on Friday with another strong performance, leading her team with 21 points and seven rebounds.
But when asked about a player who stood out to her, Bernabei-McNamee mentioned Kaylah Ivey.
“Kaylah passed the ball really well, she had nine assists, she found her teammates,” Bernabei-McNamee said.
The Badgers found themselves with a seven-point lead with 6:50 left to play in the second quarter, the largest difference in the game until late in the fourth.
BC stole the momentum back with a 16–6 run, however, in the latter half of the quarter. Six different Eagles scored in that span, and they led 35–32 at half.
BC continued its scoring streak into the third quarter, shooting 53.3 percent from the field—its best shooting mark in an individual quarter in the game—and made two of its three 3-pointers.
The Eagles entered the fourth up by two at 56–54.
But BC began to fall apart in the fourth quarter. Following Ndiaye’s lead-taking free throws just under four minutes into the quarter, the Badgers went on a 20–9 run to close out the final six minutes of the game.
“We missed shots that you’ve got to hit in a close game” Bernabei-McNamee said.
The Eagles’ shooting woes became evident in this stretch. In the first three quarters, BC shot 45.9 percent from the field, but that number dropped to a 21.1-percent low in the fourth. The Eagles also went 0 of 6 from 3-point land in the final quarter of the game.
“Defensively, we started to gamble and they made us pay,” Bernabei-McNamee said. “They got inside of us and we forgot to double, things like that.”
Bernabei-McNamee didn’t attribute the 82–72 loss solely to the Eagles’ missed shots.
“We’ve just got to keep working and playing with confidence,” Bernabei-McNamee said.