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Boston College Falls to Columbia in WNIT Third Round Heartbreaker

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 30 Womens - Boston College at Notre Dame Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Boston College led tonight’s game until late in the fourth quarter, but fatigue on BC’s side and aggressive defense on Columbia’s side ended the Eagles’ season with a last second heartbreaker. Columbia ultimately defeated the Eagles by a score of 54-51, and will move on in the WNIT.

The Eagles got off to a good start tonight, as Cam Swartz drained a 3 for the first basket of the game. The game stayed close early, especially due to a few BC fouls, and the Eagles led 13-7 at the midway point of the first quarter. A pair of free throws from Taylor Soule put BC up by 10 with just under 4 minutes to go in the period, and BC ended the quarter up 21-11. After 10 minutes of play, transfer Dontavia Waggoner was BC’s star with 6 points and 4 rebounds, while Swartz led the team with 7 points.

The Eagles struggled to create much offense throughout the second quarter (which is not unusual for this team), but aggressive defense helped them to keep the lead by forcing Columbia into rushed plays. At the halfway point of the period, BC lead 28-14 as Swartz headed to the line and made a trio of free throws to boost the lead to 31-14. At halftime, BC led 33-18 behind a team leading 15 points from Swartz and 9 rebounds from Waggoner.

Of note at the half was that Jojo Lacey and Andrea Daley both picked up early minutes tonight due to the absence of Makayla Dickens and Jaelyn Batts, who have reportedly entered the transfer portal. Dickens and Batts did not play tonight and did not appear to be present on the bench.

Columbia started out the second half scoring with a wide open layup, and the Lions kept scoring to cut BC’s lead down to 33-24 just over 2 minutes into the period. The Eagles didn’t score until almost halfway through the quarter, when Waggoner got a 2-and-1 to make it 36-28 BC.

Soule grabbed a loose ball at around the 4 minute mark and ran it down the court to score and put BC back up by 10, and Swartz quickly followed that up with a basket and a free throw to make it 41-28 Eagles. A couple sloppy plays by BC allowed Columbia to cut the lead back down into the single digits with just under 2 minutes to go, and BC led just 41-35 heading into the fourth quarter.

The Lions picked up the first basket in the fourth quarter to keep their momentum going, and it took a pair of free throws from Swartz for BC to get on the score sheet. Unfortunately that wasn’t enough to get BC back in the swing of things, and Columbia tied the game at 43 off a pair of free throws with 5:41 to go.

The Eagles jumped back into the lead thanks to a basket from Swartz and a pair of free throws from Soule. BC maintained a small lead, and was up 49-46 with 2 minutes remaining in regulation before Columbia got within 1 point off a foul. With 16.3 seconds to go, Columbia got possession off a jump ball with the score sitting at 51-50 BC. The Lions scored to take a 52-51 lead with 12.1 seconds remaining, and a pair of free throws ended this one, with the Lions earning a 54-51 victory.