Sports, Winter, Basketball, Women's Basketball

Eagles Dominated by No. 7 NC State in 82–61 Loss

Down 17 points to No. 7 NC State just over a minute into the fourth quarter, Boston College women’s basketball needed a spark, and guard Andrea Daley provided it. Daley fired a three as the shot clock expired and then followed up with another three on the next BC possession.

The back-to-back 3-pointers cut the Eagles’ deficit to 11 points with just under eight minutes remaining, but the Eagles would not get any closer to the Wolfpack in the remaining time.

“I think every team sees a piece of the best of us but they don’t see four quarters of the best of us,” BC head coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee said. 

Despite a competitive first quarter and four players scoring in double figures, BC (11–11, 3–6 Atlantic Coast) was dominated in the paint and in transition, ultimately resulting in a 82–61 loss to NC State (18–2, 6–2) at Conte Forum on Sunday afternoon.

The Eagles started strong, capitalizing on open lanes in transition to take an 11–10 lead over NC State in the opening five minutes of the game. After starting the game 5 of 7 from the field, the Eagles finished the quarter shooting 1 of 7 and the Wolfpack took a 16–13 lead.

The game started unraveling for the Eagles from there. They opened the second quarter with a nearly three-minute scoring drought, while NC State went on a 9–0 run. 

“We kind of got out of running offense there for about six minutes in that second quarter,” Bernabei-McNamee said.

Amid BC’s offensive woes, NC State’s Aziaha James was putting the game away for the Wolfpack. James pushed the ball up the court, quickly sweeping through BC’s zone and finished with an easy layup to balloon the lead to 12 with 7:27 left in the first half. 

James finished with 10 points in the second quarter and helped the Wolfpack establish a 16-point lead heading into halftime.

“We talked about rotations, and making sure our rotations were on point,” Bernabei-McNamee said of her message to the team at halftime. “And then really, we wanted to limit 10’s [James] touches. She had 17 first half points.”

The Eagles battled hard at the start of the third quarter, going shot-for-shot with NC State, but the size advantage of the Wolfpack—which scored 50 points in the paint—caused major problems for the Eagles.

“Our top two keys in this game was to try to not get beat on the boards, and that is going to take everybody’s effort,” Bernabei-McNamee said. “Or, as you see, we got beat on the boards.”

Ultimately, NC State was able to respond to every push the Eagles made. 

A pullup jumper by James, who finished 8 of 21 with 24 points, followed by a driving layup by Zoe Brooks, increased the Wolfpack’s lead to 22 at the end of the third quarter. 

The closest the Eagles came was 65–54, following Daley’s back-to-back 3-pointers with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter.

“Andrea [Daley] hit back-to-back threes in transition then she didn’t shoot another three,” Bernabei-McNamee said. “You know, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it, but I gotta get them to realize what’s going well because they’re on the court doing it.”

The Wolfpack closed the game on a 17–7 run, cementing the Eagles’ second loss to a ranked opponent in the past week.

“These are all things I know we will grow and learn from,” Bernabei-McNamee said. “But, it’s got to be a fast learning curve because like you said, we are in the ACC right now. We’re in the heart of it.”

January 28, 2024