After trailing by as much as 20 in the second quarter, UMass Amherst took the ball up the court against Boston College women’s basketball with just seconds left in the game, one second separating the game and shot clocks, and a tied 77-77 score. With two seconds on the game clock, UMass guard Ber’Nyah Mayo stepped back and shot a go-ahead 3-pointer, which she missed, sending the game into overtime.
BC scored on its first drive after winning the overtime tipoff and did not slow down. The Eagles then went on a 13-0 run, shutting UMass (1-1) out until 30 seconds remained on the clock. The Minutewomen scored twice more before the buzzer, but it was not enough. BC (2-0) walked off the court with a 90-82 victory, its second win of the season.
“What we had today was … an ugly win where we just made a lot of mistakes,” BC head coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee said. “We are going to grow and learn a lot from this game, which is going to be imperative. If we don’t … it’ll be a long year, but I think we will grow from this and get better.”
BC started hot. An early 17-3 run gave the Eagles a double-digit lead in the first quarter, and they showed no signs of slowing down. BC put up 11-of-17 shooting in the first quarter for 30 points. UMass lacked BC’s tempo but kept from falling too far behind with 15 points of its own.
The second quarter started similarly to the first, but BC’s momentum did not last. The Eagles extended their lead to 20 points after UMass missed seven straight shots, but BC turnovers kept the Minutewomen in the game. Momentum finally shifted fully in UMass’ direction as it ended the quarter down 35-48 after a 7-0 run.
“What a more mature team is supposed to do is combat mistakes by making up for them and out hustling them,” Bernabei-McNamee said. “Today I just thought at times, especially in the third quarter, we really just didn’t do that.”
If BC made any halftime adjustments, they were insufficient. UMass started the second half the same way the first ended, continuing what was ultimately a 16-0 run.
“We were playing their brand of basketball,” said Bernabei-McNamee. “What we do best is pushing tempo and then having some patience and poise in the offensive set. … What we kept doing was pushing tempo and then trying to force something really quick.”
BC’s first points of the quarter came with 4:48 on the clock after two good free throws by forward Taylor Soule. The third quarter saw the Eagles shoot one of 15 from the field as their lead was cut down to two by the end of the quarter.
“Our team is extremely resilient,” BC guard Marnelle Garraud said. “We got down in the third quarter—we had a lead and we let them come back … I think it shows that we’re ready to fight … and that we’re gonna stick together through the ups and downs and … finish games … when it matters.”
Soule traded points with UMass forward Sam Breen throughout the fourth quarter. Soule scored 11 points in that frame, but Breen kept the Minutewomen in the game with 13 points of her own.
“We started to prove ourselves in the fourth quarter,” Soule said. “We hadn’t really been doing that, so I had to do my part. I knew the bench on UMass was getting really excited when their team was scoring, so … [it’s] a little bit of a pride thing. If someone’s gonna drop … like 32 on us—no hate to [Breen], she’s a really great player—but like, I have to do my part.”
The Eagles entered overtime with confidence. They made shots, limited turnovers, and played lockdown defense. Momentum was working in BC’s favor for the first time since the second quarter. When the final buzzer sounded, BC led 90-82.
Though the win was not an easy one, the Eagles’ offense shined. Soule scored 29 points with 13 rebounds in a double-double performance, making her a strong candidate for ACC Player of the Week. Clara Ford and Makayla Dickens also earned double-doubles, and Garraud and Cameron Swartz both made the list of five Eagles with double-digit points.
BC kept UMass in the game by turning the ball over. The Minutewomen scored 33 points off of turnovers, compared to just 21 BC points off UMass turnovers. BC proved its rebounding abilities but needs to work on controlling momentum throughout the rest of the season.
“I’m really proud of the team,” Soule said. “We are that team that’s going to grind it out [and] get the win. Obviously it was a little ugly at times … but it’s definitely good to get that over with at the beginning of the season and … learn from it.
Featured Image Courtesy of BC Athletics