It was strange - yet very, very awesome - to be in a packed Conte Forum last night, as BC's women's basketball team topped Georgia Tech to improve to 6-5 in ACC play.
With the upper bowl closed off, and with free admission granted to anyone wearing pink on breast cancer awareness night, a seemingly overflow crowd jammed into the red seats at Conte. As usual, there was more energy in the arena than there is for men's games, as women's crowds consist of 1) kids (always energetic) and 2) a real hard-core base of season ticket holders who love this team.
It also helps that the product is very fun to watch. BC is talented and plays an entertaining style of basketball.
It's almost cliche at this point to talk about how good women's teams are at the fundamentals, but like most cliches, there are elements of truth in it. The Eagles put on an incredible passing display last night and had several offensive possessions wherein every player touched the ball, before one person was set up wide open for an easy layup or jumper. There were a number of downright dazzling plays.
Leading the way on this passing assault is freshman Jaclyn Thoman, who has quickly blossomed into an outstanding point guard. At the beginning of the season it seemed like the point guard position was BC's biggest weakness, but Thoman has become an excellent ball handler and a smart passer. She also is BC's best player at breaking the press (which Georgia Tech employed rather successfully for stretches in the 2nd half).
Mickel "Threeeeeeeeeeee-co" Picco had another double-digit scoring effort. She is diversifying her offensive arsenal as well, sometimes giving up good looks from beyond the arc to work it inside and earn even easier two pointers.
Stef Murphy is developing a pretty good jump shot from 5-10 feet. If she can add that to her arsenal she will be almost unstoppable.
Carolyn Swords is also proving that she belongs in the ACC despite earlier questions about her athleticism. I love it when BC positions her at the top of the key. Her height enables her to see over all of the defenders and make perfect passes to (usually) Murphy for easy buckets.
If BC is going to make the tournament they will need to go 2-1 the rest of the way and win at least one game in the ACC tournament, which is certainly well within their capabilities. The Eagles have a winnable game tomorrow night @ Florida State which will go a long way toward telling us whether or not the NCAAs are in our future.
Whether or not this season ends in an NCAA berth, this has been a fun team to watch. The future is bright.
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