The ball shoots into Katie Zenevitch’s capable hands and she makes a quick lunge through the paint, blowing by the Florida State defense and making her way seamlessly towards the hoop. Finally, BC seems to be making plays connect on the offensive end. As Zenevitch takes off, she releases the ball. For a moment, it seems to be suspended as all of the eyes in the building follow its arc. The ball bounces a couple times on the rim, then falls outside into the waiting Seminole arms.
This was the story Thursday night in Conte Forum when the women’s basketball team took on conference foe No. 22 FSU. Plays were made, holes in the Seminole offense were found, but the Eagles failed to capitalize on 17 layups, more than enough to overcome their final deficit of ten points when they fell to Florida State 67-57.
Coach Erik Johnson was aware of what a toll so many close chances can have on the morale of a team.
“None of us like hearing, ‘You’re on the cusp, you’re right there,’ but that’s the truth,” he said. “Everyone in that locker room is in pain right now because we know we’re right there, and we know that game was within our control. We could have made those layups.”
Johnson is staying optimistic and interpreting the near misses as an indicator of better results that could come with progress and more precise execution.
“My challenge to the team is push it to the next level. Let’s be more than right there. Let’s beat those top 25 teams,” he said. “There are a few things that are non-negotiable. Talking, moving the basketball, playing with energy … but now, we have to make shots. Now it’s a matter of finishing that job.”
As the team moves deeper into its ACC schedule, the adjustments that it makes for each game become more and more crucial. Though the previous game was a more narrow loss by BC, Johnson saw improvements in their handling of the Seminoles.
“[FSU guard] Morgan Toles was key in the last game. We really made some adjustments and that was improved work,” he said. “I thought we turned Florida State over in the post, and our smothering double teams were excellent.”
Johnson was also aware, however, of the emphasis that was placed on analyzing Florida State’s play and thought it may have distracted from his team’s execution.
“We spent a little too much time figuring out what they were doing rather than just playing,” he said.
A bright spot on the night was freshman guard Nicole Boudreau, who was 6-for-15 from the field, sinking four of her five three pointers and earning the highest point total of any player on the court Thursday night with 18 in her 38 minutes. Johnson commended her poise on the court, regardless of the opponent.
“She is as confident of a freshman as I’ve coached. She air-balled one, and she came back and stuck the next one,” he said.
At the end of the night, one strong performance was not enough to pull the Eagles through. Shooting only 35 percent as opposed to FSU’s 47 percent was not enough to keep BC in the game despite having 14 more opportunities. Johnson, however, is still optimistic.
“There’s no question that we’re competitive,” he said, “now it’s just a question of when we’re going to turn that corner.”