To this day, former Boston College women’s basketball guard Sarah Behn, who netted a program-record 2,523 points during her career from 1989–93, is the only women’s basketball player in BC history to be enshrined in the rafters of Conte Forum. No other player has been immortalized with a jersey retirement ceremony since Behn’s No. 33 was retired on Feb. 8, 2003.
All of that will change on Sunday during halftime of the Eagles’ 2 p.m. game against Clemson.
As a part of BC’s Alumni Day festivities on Sunday, the program will honor the career of Carolyn Swords, arguably the most accomplished player in program history, by sending her No. 30 jersey up into the rafters.
Swords, a 6-foot-6 center, played for the Eagles from 2007–11 and totaled 2,029 points during her career, putting herself only behind Behn in that statistic. Swords is the only member of the 2,000-point, 1,000-rebound club at BC, and she played in a school-record 133 games. Swords started in every one of her 133 appearances and is BC’s all-time leader in rebounds with 1,159 and blocks with 178.
Swords earned All-ACC First Team and All-American Honorable Mention honors as a senior in 2011. She was the catalyst behind one of BC’s best stretches in program history, as the Eagles were 81–52 with three Women’s National Invitation Tournament appearances during her time on the Heights.
As Sunday’s ceremony nears, here are some of Swords’ most memorable games as an Eagle.
ACC Tournament Magic (vs. Miami, March 5, 2009)
In her sophomore season, Swords led the Eagles to a 19–10 regular season record before putting forth a monster effort in the first round of the ACC Tournament in Greensboro, N.C. Swords scored 16 of her 20 points in the second half to dominate Miami and help BC win 76–59. She converted on 10 of her 12 shot attempts in the game. Swords was an equally dominant force on the defensive end of the court, as she grabbed seven rebounds and blocked two shots, helping send the Eagles into the ACC quarterfinals.
Dominance in Dallas (at Fresno State, Nov. 27, 2009 & at Southern Methodist Nov. 28, 2009)
At the beginning of the 2009–10 season, BC took a trip down to Dallas, Texas to compete in the Hoops For The Cure Tournament over Thanksgiving weekend. Over two games, Swords led the Eagles on the court, helping BC to a tournament victory. In the first game, she lived in the paint and torched Fresno State for 24 points, 17 rebounds, four assists, and two blocks. In similar fashion, she posted 20 points and 13 rebounds in the championship game against Southern Methodist en route to earning tournament MVP honors.
The Queen of Rebounding (vs. Seton Hall, Nov. 26, 2010 & vs. Sacred Heart, Nov. 27, 2010)
At the Junkanoo Jam in the Bahamas, the Eagles continued their undefeated start to the 2010–11 season with a 39-point win over Seton Hall and a 36-point victory over Sacred Heart. The latter secured the Lacayan Division Championship at the tournament, but the weekend was headlined by another accomplishment for Swords. Over BC’s two games, the senior poured in 38 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, including her 903rd career rebound, which established her as the program’s all-time leader in rebounds. Swords passed Holly Porter, BC ’97, and further cemented her name in the BC record books.
A Flair for the Dramatic (vs. Harvard, Jan. 6, 2011)
Sitting at 12–2 on the season, BC found itself in a back-and-forth battle with cross-town foe Harvard. BC and the Crimson were knotted at 78 in the closing seconds of regulation before Swords snatched an offensive rebound and made a lefty layup with less than a second remaining to hand BC the victory. The game-winner capped off another standout performance for Swords. She totaled 28 points on 12-of-17 shooting, nine rebounds, and three blocks—all three blocks coming in the final 1:37 of regulation.
Sharp Shooter (vs. Virginia Tech, Feb. 3, 2011)
While Swords was known for her success at the free throw line—she shot 67.6 percent during her college career, good for third all time in NCAA history—she also thrived in the paint. She notably flexed her scoring efficiency when the Hokies visited Chestnut Hill late in her senior season. Swords made all 11 of her shots from the field on the way to a 28-point, 11-rebound effort. Those contributions helped the Eagles secure an important conference victory, and the world was reminded of Swords’ shooting ability. She led the NCAA in field goal percentage in three consecutive seasons from 2009 to 2011, becoming only the second player in NCAA history to do so.
Conquering 2,000 (vs. St. Joseph’s, March 19, 2011)
In what was her final game at Conte Forum and penultimate game of her career, Swords put forth a memorable performance. The Eagles handily defeated St. Joseph’s 86–59 in the second round of the WNIT, and Swords made an impact in her final home outing, finishing the game with 21 points. On her 13th point of the night—made on a free throw at the 10:36 mark in the first half—Swords reached 2,000 career points, becoming just the second player in BC history to reach the milestone.