The Boston College women’s basketball team (4-2, 0-2 ACC) entered its Sunday game ready to prove that it was capable of hanging with the ACC’s elite teams.
While it did just that against fourth-ranked NC State (6-0, 1-0 ACC), a fourth-quarter collapse was ultimately the difference between a signature win early in the season and the prospect of ending up another also-ran in the ACC.
The Eagles, who once led by 16 points, fell to the Wolfpack 75-69 at Conte Forum early Sunday after squandering their advantage in the fourth quarter.
The visitors outscored Joanna Bernabei-McNamee’s squad 28-9 in the final frame, taking the lead for good with just under 90 seconds remaining. NC State then salted the game away in the final seconds, improving to 6-0 and dropping Boston College to 4-2.
While the Eagles came out on the wrong end of this contest, there were plenty of positive signs that suggest this team can make some noise in the ACC.
Makayla Dickens paced the team with 20 points, knocking down six three-pointers. Guards Cameron Swartz and Marnelle Garraud each chipped in an additional 15 points. Swartz, however, struggled considerably from the field, converting on just five of her 19 attempts from the field.
After taking the lead early, Boston College held onto its advantage for most of the game. As a whole, the Eagles shot an efficient 37.9 percent from the three-point line, although they struggled inside the arc.
The defense was particularly strong up until the fourth quarter, holding the Wolfpack to a 36.1 percent shooting clip from the field and a paltry 21.1 percent from three-point range. Unfortunately, containing some of the individual players proved more challenging.
While NC State didn’t get much help from its bench, four starters finished in double figures, with Kayla Jones and Elissa Cunane combining for 48.
That tandem was especially lethal in the final 10 minutes. The Eagles held a 16-point lead in the fourth, but a 28-6 run led largely by Jones and Cunane put Boston College away.
The two combined for 17 of NC State’s 28 fourth-quarter points, overwhelming the home underdogs and keeping an undefeated season alive.
Next up for the Eagles is a home date with the No. 20 Syracuse Orange (4-0, 1-0 ACC) on Sunday, another opportunity to knock off a ranked opponent. After giving a talented Wolfpack squad so much trouble, Boston College looks like a team that will need to be taken seriously in the ACC.
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