Back in the lab, B.C. prepares to conjure up a spell in the state for UMass


Sunday’s game at VCU appeared to be a lost opportunity for the Boston College women’s basketball team following the Eagles’ loss, 69-65. They made a furious comeback in the fourth quarter, but 30 turnovers in the game underwater the 30 points – just under half of their game total – scored in the final period alone.

The loss torpedoed a four-game winning streak, and the trip home was a lot like the Boston University return bus ride after B.C. dropped the chance to continue plowing games. out of conference. It stung, like all losses, but the ruthless schedule gave them no latency before a forced showdown with another opponent three days later at UMass.

“We didn’t play very well offensively against VCU”, head coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee noted. “It was a tough game because we were [in Virginia] in front of many families of our players. I don’t know if that pushed us a bit on the road, [but] we can’t wait to get back to it and get back to the gym. The best thing after a loss is to get back on your feet and learn better from it. “

British Columbia weren’t at the top of their game, but the fourth quarter at least cheered the Eagles on after a 7-0 streak that reduced a deficit from 17 points to seven. They began to assert themselves. more inside, and Taylor Soule and Jaelyn batts shot nine different fouls to reach the line for 10 free kicks. They made nine of those free throws, Soule making a perfect 6-for-6, and saw Ram goaltender Taya Robinson find himself in a serious foul situation. Madison Hattix-Covington also committed two fouls and Grace Hutson, another guard, committed two fouls in three minutes on the ground.

The offense opened openly and Soule finished the quarter with 14 points after getting a 4-for-7 from the field. Marnelle Garraud splashed a late three-point middle finger, and Makayla dickens, who had earlier reached her 1,000th career point, scored six points reaching the line on the only foul she committed. There were still some rolling issues, but ball movement improved to the tune of five of BC’s 11 assists.

“I enjoyed the fight in our team in the fourth quarter,” said Bernabei-McNamee, “but I think our whole team would agree that if we played the first quarters with this intensity and overall courage, we wouldn’t have been in this situation. We just have to deal with our adversity better. Personally, I would much rather learn from a lousy win, because losses kill you a bit. “

British Columbia are now tasked with following the same dividing line they were after losing to Boston University after the Eagles lost what they believed was a winnable game. They had only three days to turn their attention to Providence, and the quick timeline forced them to quickly assess a loss for positives and negatives before moving on to their screening preparation for the Brethren.

This was facilitated by a process that began even before they were against the Burrows. Each match has a prior assignment within the coaching staff, and the Bernabei-McNamee assistants provide a detailed analysis of the opponents within a given time frame. When games are mixed together like BU and PC games, this advanced search is complete before the initial game begins.

This process has been refined over time, but BC has operated under this premise to move from Penn State play to VCU. Although the team didn’t win on Sunday, preparation for playing UMass actually started ahead of this game and continued as Bernabei-McNamee hit the ground to practice with a plan for his team. It’s a blessing and a curse for any basketball team, but it reminds them how to enjoy wins without getting overconfident while simultaneously analyzing losses without getting too downcast.

“UMass are a very good basketball team,” said Bernabei-McNamee. “They’re probably the best team we’ve played at this point. They’re athletic, they’re going to push the tempo and they score turnovers. They have a lot of veterans on their squad who play really well together. Their goaltenders score consistently. So we have to make sure we’re on point defensively and that we can play our style of basketball. “

The Minutewomen are, indeed, a strong basketball team, and their record is littered with competitive victories. Like British Columbia, they own a victory over Providence after beating the Friars by 18 on Nov. 23, and they narrowly lost to a nationally-ranked Iowa State team, 76-71, on the road. It’s their only loss, and a modest two-game winning streak sends UMass into their comeback fight against British Columbia on Wednesday night at Amherst.

The Eagles won last year’s game, 90-82, at the Conte Forum, but this week marks B.C.’s first trip to the Mullins Center since a 13-point win in 2010. It was the last d ‘a six-game streak spanning seven years which the power conference side controlled with five wins. The series itself dates back to the early days of the Grand Est, but the 69-66 victory at Amherst was only the fourth win of all time for the Minutewomen, who play in a basketball-centric league in the Atlantic-10.

Even without an advantage on the court, UMass is giving BC a tough head-to-head. Sam Breen scored 26 points on 11 of 21 shots against UMass-Lowell in her last game, and she comes on Wednesday with a double-double average with over 18 points and just under 12 rebounds per game. She is flanked by both Sydney Taylor and Destiney Philoxy, both of whom have averaged double digits for the A-10’s best offense.

“We teach players to keep our ground by raising their hands,” said Bernabei-McNamee. “It’s not just about focusing on stopping the individual player, but also stopping the next pass. If our hands are up, we try to dissuade [an opponent] to separate us with a pass. But when it comes to the pressure of the ball, it depends on the individual and who we are protecting.

“UMass has sneaky and quick guards,” she said, “so keeping our yard might be to give them a little more than a step while having their hands high. Marnelle’s yard might be a bit more. smaller than Makayla because it depends on the individual speed, but someone like Ally VanTimmeren can use its length and wingspan to reduce its pressure by a few feet. We are working a lot on this so as not to fall into the trap of false jabs or false hits. The whole game against VCU, we ran into some of their false shots, and we kept getting a little too close, which allowed [the Rams] lead on us if they had a shooter. It’s really important to remember the recruiter, and for us, the coaches, to make sure we hammer home a little better. “

BC and UMass will kick off at 7 p.m. from the Mullins Center in Amherst, Massachusetts. The rivalry in the state can be seen through the ESPN + online subscription available through the ESPN streaming platform via the internet and mobile streaming devices.


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