Lady Eagles Stun No. 15 Duke in Thriller

Within two minutes, the game appeared to have the makings of blowout. On Duke’s very first drive, point guard Rebecca Greenwell hit an instant three-pointer. This, followed by two two-point drives, drove the Lady Blue Devils to a 9-0 lead in less than 120 seconds.

But with the magic of the three-pointer, BC guard Nicole Boudreau, who managed an aggregate of five in the first half, and sophomore guard Kelly Hughes, who hit two in the first half, hastily dug the Eagles out of a 9-point deficit.

After an ugly first two minutes, the BC women’s basketball team—in the next dozen or so minutes—went on a 27-7 run to solidify a 27-16 lead.

Certainly, three-pointers looked to be the special ingredient for the Lady Eagles to defeat a dynamic Duke team. After attempting a total of 19 three-pointers (compare that to Duke’s four attempts), the Lady Eagles scored on eight of them (compare that to Duke scoring only one).

Anthony Golden/ Gavel Media.

Anthony Golden/ Gavel Media.

The Lady Eagles didn’t even need to hit half of their three-pointers. Going 8-19 (42.1%) was plenty. Combine an excellent three-point percentage, with more offensive rebounds than Duke, with relentless, scrappy gameplay—and what do you get? A 35-30 lead at the end of the half.

As the second half began, the Lady Blue Devils immediately went on a 7-point run, mirroring their 9-point run to open the game. The Lady Eagles—far more inaccurate with three-pointers—had to make quick adjustments.

And adjust they did. The BC women’s basketball team played arguably the best basketball they’ve played all season, snagging rebounds when possible and remaining especially cautious not to turn over the ball.

Like a pendulum, the momentum of the game swung back and fourth up until literally the last couple of minutes of the game, during which Emilee Daley hit three consecutive three-pointers. As Emilee Daley’s last—and most clutch—three-pointer gracefully swooshed through the net, a sparsely populated Conte Forum exploded into an electrifying cheer.

In a true team effort—and in an exceptionally thrilling game—the Lady Eagles killed the last couple of seconds on the clock and subsequently stormed the court after securing a 60-56 final score.

Anthony Golden/ Gavel Media.

Anthony Golden/ Gavel Media.

Head Coach Erik Johnson emphasized the importance of practicing well. “For you young players out there, you really do play how you practice. . . You can’t just flip the switch when you want to. You have to practice like that.”

As for the team’s near future, Johnson noted how consistency hasn’t been the team’s strong suit, and how he hoped the game was a “big step” for the team.

Before Johnson left, he offered praise—not to his team, but to the audience. “Thank you to the crowd tonight. You guys were awesome—you kept us in it.”

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Joe Castignetti