The Boston College women’s basketball team continues to cement a spot as one of the best basketball stories of the season as the Eagles defeated Duke tonight by a score of 84-77 to advance to the ACC semifinals for the second time in program history. The Eagles have defied all expectations after being voted to finish 13th in the conference during the preseason. Yet again, this team showed fight and determination and an ability to come back from a deficit. With tonight’s win, BC has reached 20 wins in a season for the first time since 2010-11.
Things started off shaky for both teams tonight and Taylor Soule scored the first points of the game a minute and a half in to give BC a 2-0 lead. The Eagles built up a few small leads during the first quarter, but Duke continued to fight back and the Blue Devils ended up taking an 18-17 lead into the second quarter.
Duke stayed up for the start of the second quarter, but Taylor Ortlepp tied things up at 29 with just under 6 minutes to go in the half. The teams swapped points for the rest of the quarter, but Duke ended up leading by 2 heading into halftime.
The teams came out for the second half with the Blue Devils up 41-39, but Ortlepp scored another 3 to start the period and earn BC back the lead. This started a BC comeback, and the Eagles were up by 9 with 5:30 to go in the third. Duke fought back to close the gap, but the Eagles still managed to head into the last period of play ahead 61-58.
With 7:44 to go in the game, the teams were knotted up at 65 each. Duke built up a 7 point lead and was up 77-70 with 4:45 to go, but BC closed things out on a 14-0 run (including 6 free throws from Taylor Soule) to secure a ticket to the ACC semifinals, where the Eagles will face NC State.
The Eagles shot 54.5% overall today and made 60% of the 3 pointers, showing much greater consistency than Duke (47.7% and 33.3%). The Eagles were out-rebounded 30-28, but between making their shots and pulling fouls, this didn’t come back to bite them.
The Eagles were led by Taylor Soule’s 26 points, and Emma Guy picked up a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Makayla Dickens (14) and Marnelle Garraud (12) also scored in the double digits for BC, and Georgia Pineau recorded her 1,000th point as an Eagle in tonight’s game.