Sports, Winter, Basketball, Women's Basketball

Mair Notches Career High as Eagles Cruise to Victory Over Eastern Kentucky

Even Boston College women’s basketball head coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee admitted that tipping off at 11 a.m. was a little weird. 

“You come out and it’s not really your normal time,” Bernabei-McNamee said.

But despite the unconventional start time, the Eagles looked unfazed and played to a comfortable 11-point victory against Eastern Kentucky inside Conte Forum Tuesday. 

A dominant second quarter propelled BC (9–4, 0–1 Atlantic Coast) to a 76–65 victory over Eastern Kentucky (4–6). Freshman guard Taina Mair led the way for the Eagles, recording a career-high 23 points while adding seven rebounds and five assists.

BC shook off a slow start shooting the ball to cruise past the Colonels. The Eagles began the game just 1-of-10 from the field with four turnovers. Eastern Kentucky, meanwhile, shot 57 percent from the field in the first quarter—including four 3-pointers—to take a 22–18 lead after 10 minutes.

“I didn’t think that we looked like [ourselves],” Bernabei-McNamee said about BC’s first-quarter play. 

The Eagles amped up their defensive intensity in the second quarter, holding the Colonels to eight points and two field goals. BC looked energized and forced eight turnovers in the quarter, helping itself get quality looks on the offensive end.  

“We finally woke up,” Ally VanTimmeren, who finished with eight points and 10 rebounds, said. “We came into the game a little sleepy.”

BC outscored Eastern Kentucky 24–8 in the second quarter, with Mair knocking down two 3-pointers en route to a 12-point quarter and 17-point half.

“I was hitting a lot of shots, and it definitely put a lot of confidence in me,” the freshman said. 

For Eastern Kentucky, it was Emma Hacker leading the charge in the first half. She totaled 14 points, accounting for nearly half of the Colonels offensive output. The game went into halftime with BC leading 42–30. 

The Eagles continued their offensive efficiency in the third quarter, extending their lead to as many as 20 points. BC pushed a more balanced attack, as six different players scored in the quarter. 

“I think that’s the name of our team—we’re pretty balanced,” Bernabei-McNamee said. “Everybody kind of steps up to the plate when they’re needed.”

By the time the buzzer sounded, six different Eagles had scored seven or more points.

In addition to the efforts from Mair, Dontavia Waggoner made her presence known, putting up 14 points and registering four steals in the win.

“[Dontavia’s] defense was really good today,” Bernabei-McNamee said. “[She] kept people in front of her and caused some havoc.”

The Colonels drained two 3-pointers in the closing minutes of the quarter, and the game went into the final frame with BC ahead 61–47.  

Even though BC held a sizable lead, Bernabei-McNamee said she wished the team was more consistent in the second half.

“We should have capitalized a little bit more on the game,” Bernabei-McNamee said. “And we should have had our foot on the gas a little bit more, with a smarter approach to how we played on both ends.”

Still, BC maintained its double-digit lead throughout the entire fourth quarter and coasted to victory. 

“There’s a lot to learn from in this game, but, you know, I’m proud of any win we get,” Bernabei-McNamee said.

December 14, 2022