Tianna Hawkins is determined to treat every game like a big game. - Mark Dolejs-US PRESSWIRE
Maryland should be expected to make easy work of the Eagles and keep their perfect home record intact, but they aren't about to sleep on a BC team that does make an ACC-best 6.9 threes per game.
The last time they played, which seems like forever ago, No. 10/9 Maryland (17-3, 8-1 ACC) won by 40 on the road over a Clemson team that is one of the weaker teams in the ACC. This Sunday, they will be facing another team that has a losing record both overall and in the ACC in Boston College. The Terps and Eagles are slated to meet at 1 p.m. at Comcast Center in College Park.
BC is 9-11 and 3-6 in the ACC, having given No. 20/21 Florida State two good games and having been blown out twice by No.5/4 Duke. They still have two games remaining against each of the ACC's other two ranked teams, Maryland and No. 11/18 North Carolina. Up until their win on Thursday, 81-69, over N.C. State, the Eagles had lost four in a row, which stands as their longest losing streak of the year.
BC in the bottom half of the ACC in scoring offense (10th) and scoring defense (eighth), but their strengths include free throw shooting, which they are first in the conference in, and 3-point shooting. They lead the ACC in 3-point field goals made per game are fourth in 3-point shooting percentage.
The Eagles have four players averaging in double figures scoring: forwards Kristen Doherty and Katie Zenevitch and guards Kerri Shields and Nicole Boudreau, who are number one and two in the conference in 3-pointers made per game.
However, Maryland leads the ACC in 3-point percentage defense and likely isn't about to let BC come in and rain down threes on their home floor.
"We just gotta find their shooters in transition, that seems to be where they get their most threes," Alyssa Thomas said after practice on Friday. "If we can limit that then it will be really hard for them to score."
BC's four leading scorers are all starters and all average over 30 minutes a game. Their fifth starter, guard Tessah Holt, is close with 29.2 minutes per game and she leads the team in assists with three per contest. Zenevitch is the leading rebounder with 7.2 per game. The Eagles have had the same starting lineup for all 20 of their games this season.
All things considered, there's no reason not to expect Maryland to keep rolling Sunday and extend their win streak, which is already currently the longest active win streak in the ACC, to eight games.
But even still they are trying to stay in the moment and not look ahead to the Duke game coming up soon on their schedule.
"Every game that we play is a big game and every game that we play is getting us ready for the teams that are ranked higher," Tianna Hawkins said. "So I think we never want to look past the opponent that we have on any given night."
Maryland played BC once last year and let out some of the frustration of losing to Virginia Tech in their previous game by blowing out the Eagles, 86-44.