Sports, Winter, Basketball, Women's Basketball

Eagles Hold Off Northeastern 67–58 With Dominant Defensive Showing

Only leading 42–38 heading into the fourth quarter against Northeastern, Boston College women’s basketball needed offensive momentum—and it needed it quickly. A Dontavia Waggoner fourth-quarter defensive steal and score with 8:53 left in the game proved to be the kick-starter BC needed, propelling it on a 12–2 run.

BC (2–1) went on to clinch a 67–58 win over Northeastern (2–1) on Sunday in Conte Forum, generating success off 31 Northeastern turnovers that turned into 33 BC points. Waggoner herself recorded five steals, and the Eagles as a whole finished with 14 steals.

“I think we forced them into a good amount of turnovers,” BC head coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee said. “I think our defense was moving very well, which I caught in the fourth quarter. [Northeastern] painted two 3-pointers, but outside of that, I thought our defense was really good in this game.”

A season-high four Eagles scored in double figures in the win.

While Andrea Daley notched BC’s first points of the game, the junior missed two free throws just a minute later. The Eagles, however, still managed to take control of the game. With 4:40 left in the first quarter, Daley had already garnered six points, helping the Eagles take an 8–7 lead.

T’yana Todd closed the Eagles’ first-quarter scoring with her second bucket of the game to put BC ahead 16–10 heading into the second quarter. 

But as the second quarter went on, the Eagles’ advantage eroded. BC failed to convert offensively and maintain a strong defensive hold against the Huskies. Back-to-back Northeastern 3-pointers spearheaded a 12–2 Huskies run to close the half, as BC entered halftime down 28–27.

“I thought we could have been better at staying with more discipline on defense,” Todd, who finished 13 points, four rebounds, and three steals in her first start of the season, said. “Especially in that first half, where they actually got the lead on us going into halftime.”

Waggoner started off the third quarter scoring her first points of the game, and Daley followed to put BC up by three points. All of Waggoner’s 13 points came in the second half.

The senior guard scored BC’s final four points of the quarter to put BC ahead by four heading into the fourth quarter. Daley, meanwhile, finished the game with 13 points of her own.

The Eagles capitalized on 3-pointers and defensive pressure during the fourth quarter. BC shot 3 of 5 from behind the arc in the quarter, as Teya Sidberry and Kaylah Ivey’s 3-pointers helped give the Eagles a 52–42 lead with 5:30 remaining in the game. 

BC finished the game shooting 4 of 21 from behind the arc and 9 of 19 from the free throw line.

“We can shoot free throws way better than the statistic looks,” Bernabei-McNamee said. “They all shoot free throws very well, and the last couple of games it has been crazy to me, so hopefully that is out of our system now and we are going to make free throws from here on.”

The Eagles extended their lead to as many as 13 points in the fourth quarter after Sidberry converted on a contested layup. The sophomore transfer finished with a team-high 15 points on 7 of 11 shooting.

BC also shot 53.3 percent from the field in the fourth quarter, outscoring Northeastern 25–20.

“I think we had a lot of discipline in the fourth quarter,” Sidberry said. “We were taking the right shots, making the one more extra pass, and calling for the ball seen inside.”

Following the win, Bernabei-McNamee said BC is still looking to improve its scoring.

“A big part of what we have to get better on, in my opinion, is offensive efficiency to a point where we are taking great shots and then crashing them, gorging, and getting second and third opportunities,” Bernabei-McNamee said. 

November 12, 2023