Sports, Basketball, Women's Basketball

Eagles Defeat Clemson 85–72 in First ACC Tournament Matchup

Coming into the ACC tournament, Boston College women’s basketball had the highest turnover margin in the conference, averaging 20.7 takeaways a game.

This skill was on full display on Wednesday in the Eagles’ matchup against Clemson when BC defeated the Tigers 85–72. The Eagles forced 20 turnovers and cashed in for 26 points off of them. On the offensive end, BC only committed 10 turnovers, much lower than their 15.9 average coming into the tilt.

“I think we had a complete team offensive and defensive game,” BC head coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee said. “I think that we’re all coming together at the right time. I love the way they’re sticking together.”

From the beginning of the first-round matchup between BC (14–18, 6–13 Atlantic Coast) and Clemson (12–19, 5–14 ), the Eagles were in control. 

The game initially started back-and-forth, with neither team pulling ahead. A free throw from Clemson’s Amari Robinson knotted the game at 11 with five minutes left to play the first quarter. From there, BC would pull ahead and never look back. 

A 10–0 run from the Eagles gave them a 21–11 lead with 2:20 remaining in the first quarter. After baskets from both teams, the quarter would end with BC holding a 23–13 advantage. T’yana Todd posted eight points in the first frame—ending the game with a team-high 24 points.

Todd scored another eight points in the second quarter. Clemson’s Ruby Whitehorn, who scored 19 points the last time the two teams faced off, scored 14 points of her own in the second frame.  Whitehorn ultimately ended the game with 26 points. 

Going into the half, BC maintained a 42–34 lead over the Tigers. 

The Eagles put their foot on the gas in the third quarter, eventually building a 17-point lead after a JoJo Lacey 3-pointer put them up 64–47 with 1:44 remaining. BC’s Andrea Daley made her contribution in the third quarter, posting seven points on 3–3 shooting.

Daley was one of just two players to come into the game off of BC’s bench, the other being Nene Ndiaye who only played six minutes. Three players tallied 38 or more minutes for the Eagles, with Kaylah Ivey and Todd playing the whole game.

“We had a pretty short lineup today, but if you could hear our bench on the sidelines everybody was completely into it,” Bernabei-McNamee said. I’m just really proud of this team and the grit they’re showing right now.”

The Eagles closed the third quarter with a 64–51 lead.

But Clemson fought hard to come back in the final frame, cutting the lead to as little as four points with 5:28 remaining. Teya Sidberry helped solidify an Eagles victory, though, restoring a nine-point lead for BC—as the score now read 75–66.  

“When my teammates are attacking and being aggressive it really opens up the floor for me,” Sidberry said.

Ultimately, the Eagles were able to protect this nine-point lead as they held a double-digit advantage the rest of the game.

“I think we’re coming together at the right time and we’re just building off momentum,” Dontavia Waggoner said. “We’re playing together, we’re playing with all of our energy and that’s key for us right now.”

March 7, 2024