In a game that featured 12 lead changes and 11 ties, Boston College women’s basketball had to battle for the full 40 minutes Sunday against Boston University in the 28th Battle of Comm. Ave.
Dontavia Waggoner led the way for the Eagles (7–3), notching a career-high 27 points and 10 rebounds as BC scored a season-high 90 points en route to a 90–80 win over BU (4–4).
“We talked about last year—that [loss to BU] was a tough loss for us, and we wanted to make sure this year that we came ready to play and play together, and kind of show our growth and where we’re at as a program,” BC head coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee said.
The Terriers defeated BC 69–65 last year in a down-to-the-wire contest. On Sunday, BU jumped out to an early six-point lead before a JoJo Lacey 3-pointer followed by back-to-back Eagles’ steals allowed BC to quickly regain its advantage.
The Eagles maintained this momentum and continued to apply pressure on BU’s defense on a 12–0 run. Waggoner and Lacey led the Eagles in the first quarter recording six points each to help the Eagles establish a 19–12 lead after the game’s first 10 minutes.
The Terriers, however, entered the second quarter with a newfound energy and took a five-point lead. But Andrea Daley converted an and-1 and Lacey followed with a 3-pointer to reestablish the Eagles’ lead with 5:12 left in the first half.
BC entered halftime leading 36–35, led by Lacey’s nine points and three steals and Waggoner’s 10 points, six rebounds, and two steals.
The Eagles continued to take advantage of BU’s turnover struggles in the second half, forcing 11.
“I think that we got more aggressive,” Waggoner said. “I think that when we’re getting steals, we’re getting more aggressive. I think that we were playing a little bit soft in the beginning and then we started to get more aggressive, and that’s when we started to pick it up.”
BU continued to battle, though, tying the game at 51 apiece in the third quarter. Daley played aggressively on both ends of the court, recording a fastbreak score to put the Eagles up by two and blocking a shot to force the Terriers to take a timeout.
Success from behind the arc kept the Terriers in the game and BU’s Liz Shean’s fourth 3-pointer to tie the game at 57. But Lacey responded by converting an and-1 to put the Eagles up by four in the fourth quarter, forcing another BU timeout.
Shean refused to let the Terriers go down quietly, recording her fifth 3-pointer to bring BU within three points with 5:25 to play. BU netted 11 total 3-pointers, shooting 64.7 percent from behind the arc.
“Listen, that was crazy,” Bernabei-McNamee said of BU’s 3-point shooting. “I do believe we contested a few of them and they still went in. So, that was a tough pill to swallow during the game.”
With a minute to play, the Eagles extended their lead to four. Then Lacey stole the ball and scored a fast-break bucket to extend BC’s lead to six points with just 40 seconds remaining. Lacey finished the game with 22 points.
Then the Terriers recorded their 22nd turnover of the night to seal the Eagles’ victory. BC scored 29 points off BU turnovers.
The Terriers resorted to fouling in the game’s final moments, but BC’s Taina Mair and Daley nailed the free throws to secure the win. Mair—who played all 40 minutes of regulation along with Waggoner—tallied 12 points, nine assists, and six rebounds in the victory.
“I think the momentum of the game kind of kept me, personally, like, my energy there,” Waggoner said. “But, I was definitely feeling it when there was 40 seconds left in the game.”