No. 8 Maryland (21-4, 12-2 ACC) is set to play at Boston College (10-15, 4-10 ACC) on Thursday at 7 p.m. in a rematch of the Feb. 3 meeting between the two teams, which the Terps won, 85-62, in College Park.
BC is currently No. 105 in the RPI and it is no surprise that Maryland shook off some early struggles in that game and ran away with the victory.
The key for the Terps if they want to sweep this season series with the Eagles will be doing a better job of guarding the perimeter than they did in the first meeting. On Feb. 3, BC rained in nine threes, which is an even greater number than their ACC-leading average of 6.8 per game. They are also shooting 32.9 percent from downtown on the season, which is good for fourth in the conference.
The long range game is clearly something that a weak BC team relies on probably more than anybody else in the ACC and if Maryland can force them to try and win in other ways, they will be in good shape.
Meanwhile, the goal for the Eagles has to be slowing down Alyssa Thomas and Tianna Hawkins, a duo that combined for 50 points back on Feb. 3. 50 points still stands as Thomas and Hawkins' highest combined scoring effort so far this season. They are the best scoring duo in the ACC, but the Eagles still would like to erase the reputation of being the worst in the conference at containing them and force some of Maryland's role players to step up.
Of course, BC will have to keep pace offensively as well, something that isn't necessarily going to be easy against a Terp defense that is No. 24 in the country and No. 2 in the ACC.
Kristen Doherty led the way for the Eagles with 18 points in the first matchup against Maryland. She is currently averaging 12.3 points and 1.4 threes per game, but had four triples against the Terps. Doherty is BC's third best option from downtown after Kerri Shields and Nicole Boudreau, who are first and second in the conference in made threes per game at 2.5 and 2.2 respectively.
The Eagles will rely on those three, along with their leading scorer, forward Katie Zenevitch (12.4 points per game), to give them the offensive boost they need.