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Balanced Devils Thrash Heels by 40, 96-56
Player by Player
 
Chelsea Closes Out Boston College, 71-62
The Nutshell
Previewing Duke at Boston College
By Rob Clough
February 8, 2012

Eagles Still Seeking First ACC Win


Boston College -- Thursday, February 9th 2012 @ 7pm (Conte Forum)

2011 BC Snapshot: 20-13, 5-9 ACC, WNIT 3rd Round

Last Meeting: Duke Posts Dominate BC, 66-53.

Current Records: Duke 19-3, 10-0 ACC. BC 5-18, 0-10 ACC

Current Rankings: Duke #5, BC is not ranked.

Significant Losses: The Eagles lost three of the most productive players in the league to graduation. That includes 6-6 first team All-ACC Carolyn Swords, who averaged 17.5 ppg, 9.5 rpg and 71% from the floor. 6-4 Stefanie Murphy put up 15 ppg, 8 rpg, 2 apg and shot 34% from three. Steady point guard Jaclyn Thoman averaged 10 ppg, 3 rpg, 4 apg and 40% from three. The efficiency of the senior class made up for their lack of quickness, making the Eagles a tough team to defend.

Returning and New Players: This year's BC team started off with a lot of unproven players, and they're still in that mode for the most part. Soph center Katie Zenevitch has been their most consistent player, averaging 10 ppg and 6.5 rpg. She's more of a finesse player than a banger (she's attempted 26 threes). Junior guard Kerri Shields has had to take on too many tasks for this team, serving as primary perimeter gun as well as point guard. She's struggled from beyond the arc, averaging 7 ppg, 2 apg and just 27% from three. Soph forward Kristin Doherty is the team's utility player, averaging 9 ppg and 5 rpg as the team's defensive stopper. Guard Shayra Brown is averaging 7.5 ppg but hasn't helped much at the point. On the other hand, quick guard Tessah Holt has made her presence felt in recent games, and she's now putting up 7 ppg, 2 apg and 42% from three. Guard Tiffany Ruffin shares point guard duties with Shields, averaging 6 ppg and 2 apg. Frosh forward Joy Caracciolo has been the best of BC's unimpressive frosh class, averaging 5 ppg and 3 rpg. Fellow frosh big Deidra Smith is putting up 3 ppg and 2 rpg. Finally, junior guard Alyssa Fressle is contributing 5 ppg and 3 rpg.

Sylvia Crawley's BC Eagles have had the toughest of starts, going 0-10 in the ACC to date.
Sylvia Crawley's BC Eagles have had the toughest of starts, going 0-10 in the ACC to date.
The Skinny: Who would have thought the player BC would miss the most from last year's senior class would be Thoman? The Eagles are a mess at both ends, but it's their lack of solid point guard play that hurts them in game after game. The team has several handy spare parts and role players who might be made better by a lead guard who could get them the ball in their preferred spots. Instead, it's point guard-by-committee in Chestnut Hill, and the team can't protect the ball (17 turnovers a game) or get good looks at the basket (37% shooting as a team). Zenevitch has played pretty well as an inside-outside threat who can score and rebound, but she has little help inside. Shields has suffered because opposing defenses are keying in on her ability to shoot. It's been an uphill battle for this team to score, averaging just 57 ppg. The 60 they scored against Wake Forest was a season high in league play.

Duke's game plan is the usual: establish Williams early and get her touches. If double-teamed, kick out to open shooters. Gray and Jackson will look to pick their spots against the zone that BC is sure to play for long stretches of the game. On defense, start in a man to pressure opponents and switch to variants on the zone press in an attempt to get easy baskets. Above all else, don't let BC get extra possessions and don't give their shooters all day to make an attempt, because they do have players who can hit shots if given a chance.

Duke essentially needs to play with a lot of focus and drive in the early going in order to shake BC's confidence. They don't need home run plays, just their usual stuff in an aggressive manner. If they do that, they will suddenly get a lead and then get a chance to put their opponent away. BC will no doubt be fired up and they certainly have nothing to lose, so they may well be loose and at ease before the game. As long as Duke controls the boards and doesn't commit a lot of unforced turnovers, they'll be in good shape. If they take BC for granted like Maryland did with Virginia Tech and UNC did with Clemson, then this game could be much closer than the Devils would prefer.



   
  • Duke overlooking the Eagles

 




Balanced Devils Thrash Heels by 40, 96-56
Player by Player
 
Chelsea Closes Out Boston College, 71-62
The Nutshell

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