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Boston College Women’s Basketball Trounces UMass Lowell in Season Opener

Defeating easy opponents hasn’t always been a given for this team in recent years, so it is reassuring to see them dominating

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FEB 28 ACC Women’s Tournament - North Carolina v Boston College Photo by William Howard/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Yesterday evening the Boston College women’s basketball team defeating UMass Lowell in their season opener, racking up a final score of 89-46. Milan Bolden-Morris started the scoring for the Eagles with a 3-pointer 1 minute into the game, and the Eagles maintained their lead for the rest of the match-up.

Since you know BC won and you know they won easily, let’s get right down to what the major takeaways from game 1 of the season are:

The Good

  • Emma Guy continued to show that she is thriving under second-year coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee. Guy recorded a double-double with 10 rebounds and 20 points. She was consistently right at the net using her height to fight for rebounds, which will be huge for BC.
  • Milan Bolden-Morris looked great last night. As a sophomore last season, she seemed to be struggling to find her place on the team and in Coach Mac’s system, but she’s clearly figured that out because she was one of the best players on the court last night with 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 8 points, and lots of hustle.
  • Sophomores Taylor Soule and Marnelle Garraud both made their presences known, putting up 12 and 14 points respectively.
  • The bench is deeper than it has been in years. Every single player scored at least 2 points, and even the players that weren’t scoring big numbers were contributing something when they were on the court (Clara Ford used her height to get 2 blocks and really distract the Riverhawks, Sydney Lowery picked up 5 rebounds).
  • BC’s field goal percentage was 49.2%, which is respectable and a nice improvement on percentages from years past.
  • BC drew fouls well and was solid from behind the line. The team was a perfect 6-for-6 in free throws in the second quarter and went 12-for-15 in the third. BC ended the game shooting 75% on free throws, which is totally respectable and a bit of an improvement over previous seasons. Most of the free throws that did go in were also total swishes, which shows a level of confidence that wasn’t there before.
  • The Eagles dominated with 44 rebounds compared to UML’s 22.

The Promising

  • Cameron Swartz, the sophomore transfer, is going to be an interesting player to watch. She needs to make better passing choices (she had 7 turnovers), but she seems to be a fairly aggressive defensive player, which is a good addition for this team. Overall, BC played more aggressively on defense than we’ve seen in recent seasons, particularly in the first quarter when the game was slightly more competitive.
  • Freshman Jaelyn Batts went 4-for-4 on field goals in her first collegiate game. You can’t really judge a freshman based off of one non-competitive game, but Batts looked solid.
  • In general, the Eagles looked like a team that still has some tweaks to make and areas to improve in, but anybody who has been watching this team for years can also see that they’re improving in some of the easily coachable areas (like free throws and rebounds), which shows that they can be coached and that they respect and listen to Coach Mac and her staff.

The “Needs Improvement”

  • The Eagles need to either get better at 3-pointers, or everybody but Bolden-Morris needs to focus on trying to get the ball closer to the net so they can shoot for 2. The Eagles went 3-for-18 from behind arc, with Bolden-Morris going 2-for-4 and Marnelle Garraud making one of her 4 attempts.
  • Turnovers continue to be a problem. 20 turnovers against a less-skilled team is not good. There were a number of times when BC players either passed the ball directly to an opposing player or vastly overshot a pass. This could really come back to bite them once ACC play starts.

Overall, BC looked good. This seems to be a team with a lot of raw talent that should continue on the upward trajectory that Coach Mac started in her first season. It is tough to take too much away from last night since BC was so clearly the better team, but the Eagles appear to have strong foundations to build on.