Sports, Winter, Basketball, Women's Basketball

Eagles Upset No. 10 NC State for First Top-10 win Since 2010

Boston College women’s basketball has not beaten an AP top-10 ranked team since 2010, when the Eagles defeated No. 8 Florida State in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament in Greensboro, N.C.

Things were a bit different for the Eagles back then.

“I was a stay-at-home mom,” BC head coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee said.

Dontavia Waggoner was nine. Freshman Taina Mair was still in preschool.

About 13 years later, Mair’s 15 points and 10 rebounds Thursday night—her fourth double-double of the year—along with Dontavia Waggoner’s season-high 23 points and 10 rebounds—her second 20-10 game of the year—helped the Eagles (12–5, 2–2 Atlantic Coast) upset No. 10 NC State 79–71 (12–3, 2–2) in a nearly sold out crowd in Raleigh, N.C.

And there was no shortage of celebrations afterwards.

“There’s a lot of tough parts about our job,” Bernabei-McNamee said. “But this is really why we put up with all the tough, to have this feeling and to get to be together and celebrate this, so it makes it all worth it.”

The two sides traded points early, with success in the transition game. JoJo Lacey swished two 3-pointers to give BC a 12–11 lead midway through the first quarter. The Eagles knocked in three 3-pointers in the first quarter alone and registered six total 3-pointers.

Back-to-back buckets in the second quarter from Diamond Johnson—who finished with 18 points—and Saniya Rivers gave the Wolfpack a 10 point lead. But a 12-0 BC run, highlighted by two 3-pointers from Mair, brought BC back into the game, with each team tied at 35 heading into halftime. 

“Sometimes even when we got a little out of position someone would cover up for the other person” Bernabei-McNamee said. “That was on them [BC] just really communicating and talking and moving.”

BC used its transition game—it totaled 19 fast break points—to help take an 11-point lead in the third quarter. In the quarter alone, Mair and Andrea Daley each had buckets off of the fastbreak.

Daley also notched a game-high 11 rebounds.

“This game, [Bernabei-McNamee] stressed it a lot, to get out there in transition because she knew that we could run the whole game,” Waggoner said.

Up by just one point with 6:25 left in the game, Waggoner gave BC some breathing room when she converted on a layup and a free throw en route to a 10-to-five Eagles’ run to take a 73–67 lead.

The Wolfpack stayed within striking distance until Lacey netted her third 3-pointer of the night at the 1:52 mark, putting BC ahead 76–69 for its historic win.

“We’re always gonna take it one game at a time,” Bernabei-McNamee said. “But the goal is that this game sets a standard for how we wanna play together and how we wanna communicate on the court.”

January 6, 2023