Sports, Winter, Basketball, Women's Basketball

Eagles Use Overtime Period to Move Past Pitt, Win 84–71

With 3:53 left in the overtime period between Pittsburgh and Boston College women’s basketball, a turnover from Pitt’s Liatu King led to a Dontavia Waggoner jumper to put the Eagles up 72–67. BC never looked back, and went on a 12–4 run to close out the ACC affair.

Turnovers proved to be costly for the Panthers all afternoon, tallying 26 total turnovers in the game. BC, on the other hand, controlled the ball and recorded just 11 turnovers during the matchup.

“I think that they really moved and talked and communicated,” BC head coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee said. “The overtime, the defense was outstanding. I think that gives us confidence moving into the next game, knowing we can move and stay engaged.” 

The Eagles (10–8, 2–3 Atlantic Coast) were led by Andrea Daley, who recorded 22 points, and Waggoner, who added 21 points. Five Eagles scored in double digits on the afternoon. Pittsburgh (6–12, 0–5) was led by King and Jala Jordan, who combined for 36 points.

The first quarter was back and forth, with both teams struggling to make shots and take control of the game. BC shot just 5 of 18 from the field in the first, while Pitt shot 4 of 12. Teya Sidberry got off to a hot start and recorded five points in the opening frame for the Eagles.

BC looked to push early and often to begin the game, with four of its 11 first-quarter points being fastbreak points. 

“We want to always try to play with pace and tempo, so I think it looked probably faster this game because they were in a zone and had a little bit of trouble matching up immediately,” Bernabei-McNamee said.

In the second quarter, the Eagles stepped up their game. A Kayla Lezama layup with 3:46 left in the frame gave the Eagles a strong 28–17 lead. BC also controlled the offensive glass in the quarter, totaling five offensive rebounds. Pitt eventually fought back to cut BC’s lead to 32–27 at halftime.

Coming into the matchup, Pitt averaged 13.1 offensive rebounds per game, however, the Eagles held them to only 10 offensive rebounds all game. 

“During scout we knew they were really good at offensive rebounding,” Waggoner said. “So coming into the game, we knew that we had to block out, we knew we had to crash hard, and that’s what we did, I think.”

The third quarter was once again back and forth, with BC struggling to break away from Pitt. A T’yana Todd 3-pointer with 24 seconds left in the frame finally gave BC a 58–50 lead heading into the fourth.

The Eagles struggled from 3-point range all afternoon, ending the game 2 of 17 from deep. BC attacked the basket, though, and totaled 40 points in the paint to Pitt’s 28. 

BC’s offense stalled in the fourth quarter, putting up just seven points. Pitt’s offense finally got hot, which resulted in the Panthers taking the lead after a Jordan layup with 3:12 remaining. A couple of possessions later, Pitt found itself with a chance to win the game with the score tied at 65 apiece. But once again, Pitt turned the ball over. Todd had a chance to hit a last-second buzzer-beater, but her 3-point attempt sailed wide.

In the overtime period, the Eagles dominated and jumped out to a 74–67 lead with just under three minutes to play. BC kept its foot on the gas and finished Pitt off behind six Waggoner points in overtime. 

“I thought Pitt played a great game, I thought they moved the ball well and they have a young team with a new coach, so I think that they did a pretty nice job adjusting to what we were doing,” Bernabei-McNamee said after the matchup.

January 15, 2024