The Terps entered halftime plagued by poor shooting percentages but saved by strong defensive hustle and persistent offensive rebounding. The Terps held the Eagles leading scorers, seniors Carolyn Swords (17.9 points per game) and Stefanie Murphy (16.8 points per game) to just 3 points apiece, and had seized 15 offensive rebounds to generate a 15-2 advantage in second chance points, amounting to a 35-27 halftime lead.
However, in the second half the Terps shooting woes worsened and they could no longer effectively contain Swords and Murphy, who combined for 24 second half points and whose seniority fueled the increased confidence necessary to engineer an 18-2 run in the first 4:11.
The 18-2 run to start the game, thats a backbone killer, said Maryland head coach Brenda Frese. I think a lot of that had to do with us defensively and obviously they were confident.
They played like a veteran team and we played like a very young team, Frese added.
The Terps by no means surrendered, however, attempting a season-high 85 field goals for the game and coming within one point of Boston College, 55-54, following a 3-pointer by junior Kim Rodgers and a jumper by freshman Alyssa Thomas with 7:28 remaining in the second half.
Fans in attendance roared as the Terps seemed poised to take the lead, but the Terps simply could not sustain a reliable scoring stretch, missing 6 free throws, 6 3-pointers, 7 jump shots, and 2 layups in the final 7:28.
In the entirety of the second half, the Terps were outscored 51-34.
For the night, the Terps shot 32.9% (28-85) from the field, 5% (1-20) from beyond the arc, and 42.9% (12-28) from the free throw line.
Disappointed by the season-low free throw percentage in particular, Frese explained that the team knows that's what a lot of games come down to at this stage of the game: a basic fundamental shot.
For us to step up and not shoot the ball with confidence is very disappointing, said Frese.
Its just a lack of focus on our end, said junior Lynetta Kizer. We have to do a better job concentrating and finishing.
In sharp contrast, Boston College currently leads the ACC in field goal percentage, free throw percentage, and number of 3-pointers made per game.
Tonight, the Eagles shot 45.6% (26-57) from the field, 44.4% (8-18) from 3-point range, and 81.8% (18-22) from the free throw line, much to Boston College head coach Sylvia Crawleys pleasure.
Furthermore, Crawley indicated that a key to her teams second half scoring surge was not only the amount of points made but their distribution among her team.
I thought everyone contributed tonight as far as scoring. Everyone was a threat. Everyone made the extra pass when it was time to do that and everyone scored when it was time to score, said Crawley.
The Eagles recorded four players in double digits and two players nearly in double digits, with 9 points each.
The Terps had just two players in double digits - Kizer (22 points) and Thomas (18 points) - while no other Terrapins scored more than 6 points.
Commenting on the teams uncharacteristic lack of depth, Frese reflected: [we] picked a tough night for everyone to have a bad night.
However, Frese states that the Terps will carry with them the constructive aspects of the loss and continue to improve. We've got to be able to regroup and learn from this, said Frese.
After all, the remainder of the season will be conference games, no less competitive and trying than this, and Frese recognizes her team must be able to grow from the loss and move on.
Now we're going to see what kind of character we have in this locker room, Frese declared. Every game is going to be a battle. We put ourselves in this position and now we have to be able to dig ourselves out of it."
And the Terps can likely gain confidence from the fact that despite their shooting troubles, they still managed to outscore the Eagles in the paint (44-28), off turnovers (14-6), and in second chance points (27-8).
The Terps also outrebounded Boston College 53-45, led again by Thomas (13 rebounds) and Kizer (10 rebounds), who both achieved double-doubles.
The Terps head on the road to play Clemson on Sunday, January 16 at 3 p.m.
The ACC [schedule] isn't kind, you've got to be able to turn around and be ready for your next game, Frese declared.