They were down by just 2 points with 15 second to go in the game, but having to foul to slow the clock resulted in the Eagles losing today’s ACC Tournament game to Syracuse by a score of 67-61. The Eagles stayed competitive throughout today’s game, despite being the #13 seed to Syracuse’s #5 seed, but the Orange outplayed them just enough to keep any real comeback attempt from taking hold.
The Orange took a 4 point lead, and except for a brief moment when they were up by 1, the Eagles just couldn’t overcome that small deficit. However, BC did outscore Syracuse in both the second and the third quarters, and the Eagles limited themselves to an impressively low 10 turnovers throughout the entire game.
There were two major factors in BC being unable to pull off this win: fouls and height.
The Eagles have struggled with fouling throughout this season, with multiple players routinely racking up 3+ personal fouls each game. BC committed 23 personal fouls today, resulting in 25 Syracuse free throws. Makayla Dickens fouled out of the game (after getting hot from behind the 3 point arc), Taylor Soule and Ally VanTimmeren each were assessed 4 personal fouls, and Cam Swartz and Jaelyn Batts each had 3 personal fouls. Finding the line between aggressive defense and constant fouling is something the Eagles are going to need to work on for next season.
The Eagles were also at a general disadvantage today just size-wise. Clara Ford (6’3) and Ally VanTimmeren (6’2) are the only currently healthy BC players that are 6’2 or taller. And although Syracuse was playing shorthanded, they still had Priscilla Williams (6’2), Digna Strautmane (6’2), Maeva Djaldi-Tabdi (6’2), Amaya Finklea-Guity (6’4) and Kamilla Cardoso (6’7). Unsurprisingly, Syracuse out-rebounded BC 43-36.
While this was a disappointing loss, and a disappointing season overall, things still look bright for BC. The Eagles aren’t graduating any players, Taylor Soule is Taylor Soule, Marnelle Garraud led the ACC in steals per game, Cam Swartz and Makayla Dickens have both shown huge improvements, and the sophomores, freshmen, and early arrivals all have been making big strides in their play. Fans should be optimistic.