With only eight players available due to Covid-19 and after just three practices in the past week, Boston College fell, again, to the number one team in the country, 97-68. Though Makayla Dickens and Taylor Soule put together great performances, Dana Evans, Kianna Smith and Elizabeth Dixon proved to be more than the Eagles could handle. With this loss, their second double- digit defeat at the hands of the Cardinals, the Eagles move to 5-8 on the season and 1-8 in ACC play.
In the first quarter, it looked like the undermanned Boston College squad would give Louisville a game. Makayla Dickens hit her first three on the first shot of the game and never looked back. In the first quarter alone, Dickens went three for three from beyond the arc. But Kianna Smith lit up the Eagles to the tune of 8 points in the first quarter, the Eagles were never out of striking distance. The only issue early on was Boston College’s inability to secure defensive rebounds. At one point in the first quarter, Louisville had secured the offensive rebounds to three of their five misses. Still, at the first break, Coach McNamee’s Eagles only trailed by four after a clutch three from Dickens.
BC’s scoring slowed down in the second period of play while Louisville’s offense found another gear. Smith, Evans and Norika Konno buried jumper after jumper while Elizabeth Dixon an Mykasa Robinson punished the Eagles on the glass. The Cardinals tallied seven more offensive boards in the second quarter, paving the way for 17-2 run. That run seemed to be the early dagger for the Eagles, as they never found a good rhythm on offense.
In the third, Taylor Soule tried to spark an idling Eagles squad with a few buckets in transition. The Eagle star forward had been kept on the bench for most of the first half with two fouls. Though Soule would finish the game with 20 points on 9-16 shooting, Boston College could not get stops and the third quarter quickly became the Dana Evans Show. The presumptive ACC player of the year poured it on in the third, scoring eleven points and nabbing a pair of steals. She finished with 23 points, five assists and zero turnovers. She was cool, collected, and lethal. BC just didn’t have the answer. At the end of three, the game was already over. Louisville led 72-54.
The wheels came off the bus for the Eagles in the fourth quarter. With Coach Walz resting most of his starters, the Eagles still managed to surrender 25 points in the final quarter. By the end, it seemed like they were resigned to the fact that Louisville was gunning for 100 points. Every shot the Cardinals took seemed to make the net dance. BC also committed some unnecessary fouls, giving Louisville a few late trips to the free throw line and a few and-1’s. When the final buzzer sounded, the Cardinals had dropped 97 points on BC.
Will the Eagles continue to battle down the stretch? It’s clear that they faced an incredibly tough schedule. It’s also clear that they have struggled with Covid-19. This, however, looks like a completely different team than the one we saw a season ago. They now sit at 1-8 in conference play. They only lost seven ACC games all of last season. Taylor Soule continues to play well despite foul trouble and, against the Cardinals, Makayla Dickens stepped up in a big way, shooting 5-6 from three. Unfortunately, the offense looks perpetually out-of-sync and the defense looks even shakier at times. Coach McNamee has her work cut out for her before the Eagles play a 10-7 Clemson team on Sunday.
Photo courtesy of BCEagles.com