After a crushing defeat in the season opener against the #6 Stanford Cardinals, the Boston College Eagles traveled 50 miles north to face the St. Mary's College Gaels. With a dramatic second half comeback at Saint Mary's College of California, the Eagles bounced back, bringing them to a 1-1 season record.
Boston College began the matchup with Kelly Hughes, Nicole Boudreau, Emilee Daley, Katie Quandt and Ashley Kelsick as their starters. In the first half, the Eagles were shooting at only 35% and making 28% of their 3 point attempts. Saint Mary's shot at a decent 40% which explains their lead of 32-35 at the half.
The Eagles made 4 of their 4 attempted foul shots in the first half, giving them a perfect FPT% at the half. In the second half they were 17 for 20, finishing at 87.5% for the game. Saint Mary's had 13 chances at the free throw line and made 10 of those shots in the first half. After halftime they were 12-17 and finished the game with 73.3% accuracy at the line.
The first half was an even match, so it was not until the second half that Boston College decided to secure the win. Outscoring the Gaels by 13 points, the Eagles showed their determination to win. The Eagles did not completely take over until the last ten minutes of the game. Nicole Boudreau made two consecutive threes which solidified BC's dominance in the game. By the time there was 1:30 on the clock, BC was up 73-69. Saint Mary's continued to foul in order to secure longer ball possessions, but that only created a larger gap in the score. The Eagles outscored the 50-37 lead winning the second half and the game altogether.
With energetic rookies like Kelsick, good shooters like Hughes and Boudreau, and the rebounding talent of Gabriel and Quandt, this team is prepared for both ends of the court. Once they figure out how to use their talents wisely, we will be watching some pretty exciting conference games. After a red-eye back from California, everyone will need some time to re-group, but the they have four days to show the east coast what's really in their arsenal.
-- Ashley Kelsick with her first collegiate start contributed 8 point to the Eagles' defeat of the Gaels
-- Kelly Hughes shot a new career high of 24 points.
-- Nicole Boudreau put up a solid 15 points
-- The bench alone put up 27 points
-- Kathleen Cooper came in third with 13 points during the game
Coach Johnson had this to say after the game:
"Saint Mary's came out, played very very well. It's a well coached team. We thought we had a a pretty good game plan to hold them down, and I thought they made great adjustments. I was really proud of our players. We got down thirteen points with ten minutes left to play, and they just kept working hard. We made a couple of defensive adjustments, we're a little tougher getting to the line a little bit more and playing harder on defense. It made all the difference, we were able to come back, got out a tough win, at a tough place to play. So I'm really proud of our team."
The Eagles were able to secure a necessary win, but there is a lot of work to be done. BC shot 38 three-pointers, a new program record, but shot with only 40.3% accuracy. Last year the teams FG% was a mere 42.7, which has been the biggest flaw in their game. They have the fundamentals down, but the key to winning more games is as simple as attempting AND making more shots. At Saint Mary's they had 42 rebounds, which is 8 more than the season average last year.
Though there is a lot of doubt, the Eagles have a lot of potential for this season. On Thursday they take on Boston University, a team that they beat 63-52 last year. Their non-conference rivals are not necessarily tough teams, but these next few games will be vital to their preparation for the ACC. The Eagles are not yet ready for their conference rivals, but if they continue to increase their numbers from the Saint Mary's game, they will have no problem.