The Eagles lost a tight clash at Northwestern—66-63—on Wednesday night as a part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Neither team led by more than seven points in a back-and-forth battle that saw five ties and seven lead changes.
As has been the story so far this year, BC lost because of a copious amount of turnovers. The Eagles turned over the ball a staggering 21 times, while Northwestern gave up possession only six times. The Wildcats capitalized on these mistakes, scoring 14 points off of turnovers to BC’s four.
While BC will not be happy with the night’s officiating, they do have themselves to blame for committing multiple bad fouls and putting the Wildcats on the line. Northwestern had just 22 points in the paint, but took 22 free-throws, converting on 15. BC scored 30 points in the paint, but went to the line only five times, only making two.
The Eagles were utterly dominant in the rebounding battle—a bright spot on the night. They out-rebounded Northwestern 53-29 with an incredible 21 offensive rebounds. BC scored a solid 24 second-chance points, but could have shot better overall.
Taking into account the small sample size from the free-throw line, BC finished with a decent 40.9%-33.3%-40% shooting split. Northwestern shot worse than BC from the field, but won the game with high volume at the line. They had a team split of 37.7%-31.3%-68.2%.
Milan Bolden-Morris was the standout for the Eagles, leading the team in scoring off the bench and carrying the bulk of the three-point shooting effort. She finished with 14 points and shot 4-9 from deep.
Taylor Soule had a good showing with ten rebounds (four offensive) and shot 60% (3-5) from the floor for seven points.
Emma Guy had a highly efficient scoring night for the Eagles, chipping in 13 points at a 75% (6-8) clip.
Marnelle Garraud was a lone bright spot in her ability to distribute without committing mistakes. She was a Swiss-army knife on the evening with seven points, five rebounds, a team-high seven assists, and just two turnovers.
Northwestern guard Lindsey Pulliam was the best player on the floor Wednesday night and torched BC with a game-high 25 points. She was 10-16 from the field and shot 2-4 from three-point range.
After the first ten minutes, the Eagles found themselves in an 18-14 hole. Guy and Pulliam exchanged blows as Guy finished the quarter with seven points and a perfect 3-3 shooting from the field.
BC responded in the second quarter with an 11-0 run after Northwestern scored the opening basket. Georgia Pineau capped off the run with two massive lay-ups.
The Eagles’ advantage was short-lived as the Wildcats ripped off an immediate 8-0 run in response. Bolden-Morris stopped the bleeding with a three to tie the game at 28. She had a team-high eight points in the second.
The half ended with Northwestern holding onto a 34-30 lead.
Both teams shot poorly in a back-and-forth third quarter. The Eagles shot 29.4% (5-17) compared to the Wildcats’ 28.6% (4-14) and were within two points under a minute left, but could not regain the lead. Northwestern held a 46-41 edge entering the fourth quarter.
Northwestern never trailed in the fourth quarter as they closed on the win. BC cut the lead to one point twice and had a chance to tie down 64-61 with 37 seconds remaining, but fittingly turned the ball over. The game finished 66-63 with the Eagles kicking themselves over their mistakes.
Ball security remains the major missing piece of the puzzle for the Eagles, as they leave Wednesday night frustrated with yet another turnover-induced loss.
They drop to 5-4 on the season as Northwestern improved to 6-1. BC will look to bounce back by stealing a win on the road to open up ACC play. They face a difficult test against a talented Duke team this Sunday, Dec. 8 at 2 p.m.