Sports, Winter, Basketball, Women's Basketball

Eagles Downed by Georgia Tech 69–54

With under four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter of Boston College women’s basketball’s matchup against Georgia Tech, Tonie Morgan sprinted down the left side of the court and rifled a pass forward to sophomore guard Kara Dunn. Dunn drove with purpose, and finished the layup with her right hand while absorbing contact from BC’s Andrea Daley.

The basket put BC in a 64–48 hole and reproduced the frustration the Eagles experienced throughout the contest.

Despite improved shooting in the later stages of the game, BC (11–9, 3–4 Atlantic Coast) failed to take care of the ball and efficiently score off 3-pointers, leading to a 69–54 loss to Georgia Tech (13–6, 4–3) in McCamish Pavilion on Sunday afternoon. 

The Eagles struggled out of the gates, allowing Georgia Tech to gain an early 7–0 advantage. Their defense couldn’t match the strength of Kayla Blackshear, who tallied 16 points in the game—eight of which were in the first quarter on 4-of-4 shooting.

BC responded to the early flurry with an 8–0 run of their own, though, led by the sharpshooting of sophomore forward Teya Sidberry. Sidberry registered seven points of her own in the first quarter and finished the game with 15 points on 43 percent shooting. 

“She finds a way,” BC head coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee said. “Doesn’t matter that when bigs are a little bit bigger than her, she still finds a way to get inside of them and finish around the basket.”

As soon as it seemed like BC was settling into the game, however, the defense capitulated for the remainder of the quarter. The Yellow Jackets exploded with a 15–0 run, and established a strong 22–8 lead over BC. 

“We did dig ourselves in too deep a hole there that we couldn’t seem to get out of,” Bernabei-McNamee said.

The Eagles failed to spark anything offensively, shooting 17.6 percent from the field in the first quarter. BC ended the quarter in a 24–10 deficit. 

Despite Georgia Tech’s dominance, BC exhibited resilience to start the second quarter, appearing to increase its energy on both ends of the floor. Three straight baskets in the paint by Sidberry, Daley, and Kaylah Ivey cut the Yellow Jacket lead to eight points. 

But BC failed to get closer than eight points for the remainder of the second quarter due to poor 3-point shooting. Throughout the game, the Eagles shot just 11.8 percent from beyond the arc. 

“Just a matter of us taking our time on our shots,” Bernabei-McNamee said. “We just got to improve our 3-point shooting.”

Entering the second half, Georgia Tech led BC by a score of 32–22 and continued to expand on its lead with a 9–2 run to start off the third quarter. In contrast to BC, the Yellow Jackets moved the ball with ease, finding the open shooter on virtually every possession. Morgan, Blackshear, Inés Noguero, and Dunn all scored double-digit points for the Yellow Jackets.

“We kind of took it too much one on one as opposed to working offense,” Bernabei-McNamee said.

As the third quarter continued, BC clawed its way back, cutting the Yellow Jackets’ lead to nine, 47–38. Nevertheless, the Eagles failed to get any closer, due to five turnovers in the quarter. 

“It wasn’t like one person was killing us,” Bernabei-McNamee said. “It was like they were all taking their turns making bad decisions with the ball.”

The final quarter provided similar results. The Eagles ramped up their defense to force seven turnovers and scored on the fastbreak, but their poor 3-point shooting and turnovers of their own prevented them from gaining momentum. 

Dunn closed the game out for the Yellow Jackets, scoring nine points in the quarter, culminating in her dagger basket with three minutes left in the game. BC remains winless on the road in ACC play. 

“They just made a really good run on us when we weren’t playing our best basketball on either end,” Bernabei-McNamee said.

January 21, 2024