Heading into the fourth quarter of its Thursday matchup against Florida State, Boston College women’s basketball was down by 13 and inching further away from its chance to advance in the ACC Tournament.
With four minutes left, Taylor Soule sank two free throws to bring the Eagles within 10 points. Just 11 seconds later, Cameron Swartz made a jumper in the paint, and Dontavia Waggoner stole the ball off Florida State’s inbound.
Layup by Waggoner. Free throw by Soule. Waggoner again. Soule again. And suddenly, BC had cut its deficit to two.
But BC’s 12–1 run late in the fourth wasn’t quite enough, and a couple of free throws and jumpers by Florida State’s Morgan Jones were enough for the Seminoles (17–12, 10–8 Atlantic Coast) to fend off the Eagles’ drive and advance to the ACC Tournament quarterfinal, downing BC 63–58.
“That was definitely a heartbreaker for us,” head coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee said in her postgame press conference. “We’re a little hurt, we’re disappointed, but one thing I know for sure is I think they solidified a spot in the NCAA Tournament, and that’s really what we wanted to make sure we came here and did.”
BC (19–11, 10–8) left the first half down 29–21 after shooting 27.6 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes. The Eagles, who have shot 33.5 percent from 3-point range this season, finished the game 2-of-16 from behind the arc, good for 12.5 percent.
Leading scorer Swartz diverged from her usual dominant form in the first three quarters. Entering the contest having scored at least 20 points in her last six games, Swartz didn’t make a field goal until there were under four minutes to play in the fourth quarter.
Swartz executed in the game’s final minutes, though, including sinking a 3-pointer with 38 seconds to play to keep the Eagles within reach.
Soule and Swartz shared a moment late in the game ahead of BC’s run.
“I just told her to keep shooting and that I love her,” Soule said. “I think in moments when your shot isn’t falling and you feel like there’s a million voices in your head, sometimes just a comforting reminder that someone has your back can go a long way with your confidence.”
Defensively, BC found greater success in limiting Jones than it did in the teams’ last matchup, where the Florida State guard scored 17 points. Despite a couple of clutch plays, Jones was quieter in Thursday’s matchup, and BC held her to 11 points.
Thursday’s game came as both BC and Florida State sit on the bubble of making the NCAA Tournament, with BC as one of ESPN’s “Last Four In” and Florida State as one of its “Last Four Out.” But with the loss, all BC can do is wait, as its fate lies in the hands of the NCAA Selection Committee, which will announce the official NCAA Tournament bracket on March 13.
“I do believe that this is a tournament team, and I hope that the NCAA Selection Committee feels the same way,” Bernabei-McNamee said.
Featured Image by Nicole Wei / Heights Staff