Basketball, Sports, Women's Basketball

 Eagles Hang Tough But Drop Their Eighth-Straight Game to No. 18 Louisville, 69–67

With 40 seconds left in the fourth quarter of the matchup between Boston College women’s basketball and No. 18 Louisville, the Eagles found themselves in a position to end a seven-game skid that has lasted nearly a month. 

The Eagles possessed the ball and were in a prime position to take the lead in the final stages of the game. Instead, Kaylah Ivey’s misplaced pass and a subsequent Louisville layup meant the Eagles needed to answer.

BC found themselves inbounding the ball on the sideline with six seconds left, trailing 69-67. Dontavia Waggoner, who had been fantastic all night, committed another costly turnover trying to get the ball to Teya Sidberry inside with five seconds left to play. 

“I thought we had some turnovers that could have been avoided just by taking a little bit better care of the ball,” BC head coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee said. 

In the first quarter of the game between Boston College (11–16, 3–11 Atlantic Coast) and Louisville (21–5, 10–3), it was the Cardinals who struggled to take care of the ball. Louisville recorded nine first-quarter turnovers as BC got off to a hot start, leading 17–8 at the end of the first frame. 

In the second quarter, Louisville began to press the Eagles, resulting in six BC turnovers.

“If you look at averages, they turn people over a lot, their press is pretty good, they’re aggressive. They’re really good at what they do,” Bernabei-McNamee said. 

The poor second quarter performance from the Eagles found the game tied at halftime. Dontavia Waggoner recorded a team-high 11 points in the first half for the Eagles. Waggoner would eventually finish with a season-high 22 points on the night.

“She played really, really hard. That’s one of the toughest things about losses,” Bernabei-McNamee said.

After a back-and-forth third quarter—which featured four lead changes and four ties—BC found themselves leading 52–51 going into the fourth after a Nene Ndiaye jumper and free throw. This capped off a 6-0 run over the final 1:24 of the third. Neither team led by more than five during the period.

Louisville began to take momentum in the fourth, starting the period on a 6–0 run to give them a 57–52 lead. A big Dontavia Waggoner 3-pointer helped to stop the Cardinal momentum and cut the lead to three.

With 3:46 left, the Eagles found themselves trailing 65–60, in danger of letting the game slip away. BC fought back, though, going on a 7–2 run to tie the contest with 1:13 remaining. 

“I thought, credit to our team, we played a really overall good game, and they played really hard,” Bernabei-McNamee said. “To not capitalize on that with a win is tough.” 

After a couple of empty possessions for both teams, Louisville was able to break the deadlock on a Nina Rickards layup with 18 seconds remaining. Rickards recorded a team-high 16 points for the Cardinals—marking the final points of the night. 

“I like the way we’re coming together, and like I told them in the locker room, we’ve got to keep sticking it out and playing for each other and continue to do what we’re doing because we’re growing as a team,” Bernabei-McNamee said.

February 16, 2024