Boston College women’s basketball continued their impressive play away from Conte Forum on Sunday afternoon with a 70-68 victory at Clemson. The Eagles dominated early to the tune of a 41-26 halftime lead, but never felt comfortable as a late Clemson rally fell just short.
Travel fatigue was clearly not a factor for BC as they hit the ground running in the first quarter on the back of a scorching hot Emma Guy. Guy attacked the rim right from the opening tip, scoring all of her 10 points in the opening period in the paint.
The team remarkably knocked down 10 of their 15 attempts in the first quarter while holding Clemson at bay for a 21-14 lead.
The healthy Eagles lead stretched to 16 in the early minutes of the second with an 11-2 run. Guy kept the pressure on with two quick buckets, but a handful of other Eagles including Cameron Swartz and Marnelle Garraud got in on the offensive theatrics as well.
Every time the Tigers began to claw their way back before halftime, Guy struck back with easy finishes on the low block to cap off a masterful 10-10 first half performance.
With Clemson struggling to find their offensive rhythm and come up with an answer for Guy, BC looked poised to run away with this one in a blowout. However, they got too complacent in the third quarter.
Guy continued her tear with a layup to open the second half scoring and extend her run of perfection to 11 consecutive made field goals, but went silent for the rest of the game to finish with 24 points on 12-14 shooting.
After leading the way in the first half, Guy’s passive play did the Eagles no favors down the stretch, but somebody on the team had to take responsibility on the offensive side of the ball. As Clemson chipped away at BC’s lead, nobody stepped up nor looked to set the tone. BC couldn’t buy a bucket for minutes at a time, and with only a period to play, found themselves clinging to a 59-54 lead.
The fourth quarter was an all out slugfest between these ACC rivals. Clemson continued to shoot red hot from the field, but BC never surrendered their lead despite heaving up a paltry 4-14 from the floor.
The Tigers knotted things up on several occasions, but the Eagles never lost their composure and relied on a scrappy brand of basketball to pull out a victory.
Tied at 68 on the game’s final possession, freshman Makayla Dickens was sent to the line with 5 seconds to play and the chance to secure an important road win. Dickens sunk the first to give the Eagles a 69-68 lead, but Taylor Soule made the biggest play of the game when she ripped down an offensive rebound after the second attempt missed.
Dickens was sent to the line again with only a second on the clock, and this time she made no mistake, again sinking her first free throw before firing the second off the rim to run out the clock.
The 70-68 victory puts the Eagles at solid standing in the ACC with a major home stretch coming up. BC sits in the middle of the pack in the conference at 6-6 and 13-10 overall, but they have the potential to make some serious noise nationally if they can take down a floundering UNC team and a Notre Dame squad that has failed to live up to expectations.
The Eagles will get a crack at their rivals on Thursday night when the Fighting Irish come to town.
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