Riding high after a thrilling come-from-behind victory over Notre Dame on Thursday, Boston College fell to Wake Forest in an ugly blowout on Sunday afternoon. Taylor Soule fouled out after playing just sixteen minutes, the rest of the starters committed eleven turnovers, and the Eagles went 4-21 from three. With the loss, the Eagles dropped their fifth conference game by a score of 68-48.
BC jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter, which was a nice surprise after Clara Ford went down with a knee injury against the Irish. Cam Swartz scored two quick buckets and Jaelyn Batts, in her first start of the season, acquitted herself nicely with a basket of her own. Taylor Soule, the Eagles All-ACC forward then knocked in a long jumper, stretching the lead to six. That however, was the highpoint of the game for the Eagles. After an early foul guarding Ivana Raca, Taylor Soule picked up her second on an illegal screen. It was a questionable call, as it looked like Soule was just sealing her defender for a pass inside. Regardless, that second foul sent Soule to the bench for the remainder of the first half and foul trouble, not just Soule’s, became the story of the game.
With their number one option on the sideline, the Eagles mustered just six points in the second quarter and could not stop committing fouls. BC sent all five of the Demon Deacon’s starters to the line in the second quarter, surrendering nine points at the stripe. Even worse, without Soule, Ford, or Akunna Konkwo in the game, Ivan Raca ran wild. She scored eight of her sixteen points in the second quarter.For the second straight game, the Eagle’s offense looked out of sorts in the first quarter and completely became unglued in the second.
After going down 19 at the half, BC looked to make another big comeback. They came out of the locker room swinging, but while the offense rebounded to score 19 in the third quarter, Coach McNamee’s defense could not get enough stops. Wake Forest’s senior guard Gina Conti was able to drive to the rim at will. She scored layups on three consecutive possessions, blowing by Marnelle Garraud, Cam Swartz and Makayla Dickens. Conti’s 11 third quarter points were supplemented by more stellar play on the inside from Raca and a nasty step-back three from freshman Jewel Spear. The Deacons also out-hustled the Eagles on the boards, collecting six more offensive rebounds in the third quarter.
In the fourth, Taylor Soule fouled out with more than six minutes to play. After averaging more than thirty minutes a game over the last three contests, she played just sixteen minutes against Wake Forest. Gina Conti opened the lead up again with Soule out of the game. The Eagles went down by as many as 24 points. They managed to battle back to within fifteen after a couple of defensive stops and back-to back threes from JoJo Lacey and Kaylah Ivey, but they soon fell out of the game again moments later. This one was never really close.
Coach McNamee has her work cut out for her in the coming months. Through ten games, the Eagles are 5-5, but just one of those wins has come in Conference play. Taylor Soule continues to play well, but the offense has struggled when she isn’t on the floor. That was most obvious Sunday when the Eagles shot just 36% from the field while Soule played just sixteen minutes. BC has to regroup fast because if they don’t, Thursday’s game against Louisville will get out of hand in a hurry.
Photo courtesy of BCEagles.com