Photo courtesy of BC Women's Basketball / Twitter

Women's Basketball Falls to No. 17 Syracuse to Close Out Regular Season

The Boston College women’s basketball team lost a close game with the No. 17 Syracuse Orange on Sunday in their regular season finale, falling to 14-15 on the season and 3-13 in the ACC, setting up a matchup with Virginia in the first round of the ACC Tournament.

Boston College played a strong first half, playing swarming defense and not allowing the Orange to create any separation on the scoreboard. The first quarter was mostly back-and-forth, as both teams struggled to capitalize on scoring opportunities, with each side mustering only 15 points in the first ten minutes.

The second quarter proved to be no different, although the Orange were able to convert on a few three-point attempts in an otherwise abysmal offensive quarter, giving them a five-point lead just before halftime. The Eagles, however, would make up some ground prior to halftime, narrowing the deficit to 30-29 at the halftime break.

The game’s second half proved to be much less favorable for the Eagles. BC kept the game close for much of the third quarter, although foul trouble allowed the Orange to maintain a slim lead. However, things went south for Boston College in the final two minutes of the third quarter, as the Syracuse lead ballooned to eight points, leaving the Eagles with a daunting task in the fourth quarter: overcoming a deficit against a relentless Syracuse defense.

The Orange offense remained strong in the fourth quarter with Tiana Mangakahia, Digna Strautmane, and Miranda Drummond capping off impressive scoring outputs with 27, 16, and 10 points, respectively. Strong shooting from the perimeter ultimately propelled the Orange to a victory, with multiple timely three-pointers in the fourth quarter staving off a strong shooting performance from Taylor Ortlepp in the final frame.

The Syracuse lead would balloon to 18 points with just a minute remaining, ending the Eagles’ hopes of a victory in their regular season finale. While both teams had comparable shooting numbers from the field, Syracuse’s advantages from the three-point line and on the glass proved to be the difference, as the Orange shot 9-18 from the three-point line compared to 6-23 for the Eagles. The Orange also held a 44-32 rebounding advantage, including a 16-11 advantage on the offensive glass, resulting in a multitude of second-chance opportunities.

The loss dropped Boston College to 14-15 on the season and 3-13 in the ACC. Despite being under .500, their record marked improvement from last year’s seven-win effort. The Eagles will now play Virginia in the first round of the ACC Tournament, hoping that a miracle postseason run is in the cards to propel the team into the NCAA Tournament.

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