Women's Basketball, Sports, Winter, Basketball

Eagles Snap 10-Game Skid on Senior Night, Defeat UNC 78–74

With 12 seconds left in the fourth quarter of Boston College women’s basketball’s matchup against North Carolina, the Eagles were in danger of dropping an 11th straight game. 

The Eagles had led by as many as 18 points earlier in the quarter, but a flurry of fourth-quarter turnovers allowed the Tar Heels to cut the lead to just four. 

The Tar Heels cut BC’s lead to just three after a turnover by BC’s T’yana Todd and an ensuing shooting foul by Todd allowed UNC’s Indya Nivar to make one-of-two free throws. But Todd responded by making a free throw of her own to push the lead back to four and ice the game for the Eagles.

For most of the game between the Eagles (12–18, 4–13 Atlantic Coast) and UNC (18–11, 10–7) BC handled the Tar Heels. In fact, the Eagles never trailed in the affair.

The first quarter of BC’s Senior Night was dominated by senior JoJo Lacey, who hit three 3-pointers en route to a nine-point frame. Lacey was honored during a pregame ceremony, alongside fellow seniors Dontavia Waggoner and Kaylah Ivey, and finished the game with a career-high 23 points. 

“I had a lot of extra juice. My family was here, there were about 30 people here because of my dad so it meant a lot going into the game,” Lacey said.

The Eagles took a 19–12 lead heading into the second quarter, which proved to be more competitive than the first.

The Tar Heels outscored BC in the second quarter 17–16, and cut the lead to six going into halftime. Todd tallied two three-pointers in the second quarter which helped keep the Eagles ahead 35–29 at the break.

Lacey heated up again in the third quarter, hitting all three of her field goal attempts. She posted seven points and three rebounds in the frame. Waggoner also pitched in with six points of her own. 

Waggoner did not make her mark on the game just with her scoring, though. With 9:22 in the fourth quarter, Waggoner recorded her 90th steal of the season, breaking the BC single-season steals record. 

“It shows that my hard work is paying off. I’m just gonna take it and run with it and keep on getting steals. We still got games left in the season,” Waggoner said.

The Eagles ended the third quarter with a 55–44 advantage. 

BC started the fourth quarter out on a 7–0 run to push the lead to 62-44 with 9:10 remaining. After back-and-forth baskets from both teams, the Eagles found themselves with an 18-point lead with 5:24 remaining in the game, and it seemed like the rest of the game would be a cakewalk for BC, but UNC had other ideas.

The Tar Heels went on a 17–3 run to cut BC’s lead to just four points with two minutes remaining. BC reestablished a six-point lead with 21 seconds remaining after a pair of Todd free throws, and after a shaky couple of possessions for the Eagles, they were eventually able to clinch the game on another Todd free throw and break a 10-game losing streak.

“They haven’t lost faith, these three seniors have kept the team going, kept them positive,” BC head coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee said. “Because they have resiliency it kind of kept our team positive and resilient.”

March 1, 2024