The Boston College women’s basketball team welcomed Rutgers to the Heights tonight as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The teams were fairly evenly matched early in the game, but BC ran away with things in the third quarter to help the Eagles earn a 75-61 win.
The Eagles got off to a hot start, with JoJo Lacey and Taina Mair each hitting a 3 to give BC an early 6-0 lead. BC led by at least 2 plays until late in the first period, when Rutgers got within 2 points with just over a minute to play. BC led just 22-20 after 10 minutes of play, with 7 of Rutgers’ points coming from free throws.
Maria Gakdeng scored BC’s first basket of the second period to put BC up 24-20, despite her initial attempt being blocked by a double team. The Eagles continued to build their lead back up from there, thanks to another Mair 3 and a steal and layup from Dontavia Waggoner, and with just over 6 minutes to go in the half they led 32-22. Rutgers began to cut that lead down with around 4 minutes remaining, but 2 straight fouls from them gave BC the chance to build back their lead, and Lacey hit another 3 with just under 3 minutes remaining to extend the lead back out to 9. At halftime, BC led 43-32 behind 11 points from Gakdeng.
Gakdeng got the scoring started in the second half to put BC up 45-32. At 7:09 Rutgers still had yet to score, and Mair hit yet another 3 to get BC to 50 points. From there, BC extended their lead to 20 points, which held for much of the period. At the end of the period, BC led 60-37, and had forced a total of 20 turnovers.
A couple of 3s early in the fourth helped Rutgers cut BC’s lead to 62-45, and with 7:05 to go in the game Maria Gakdeng was assessed her fourth person foul. Rutgers hit both free throws to make it 62-47. BC’s luck changed midway through the period, and after a layup+free throw from Mair, the Eagle were back up by 19. Those points also secured Mair a double-double.
BC’s offense slowed down as the bench players dominated playing time as the clock wound down, allowing Rutgers to cut out some of the difference, but BC still came away with the 75-61 victory. The Eagles were led by Maria Gakdeng’s 15 points and Taina Mairs 14 points and 11 assists.