BC Women's Basketball Outlast Georgia Tech In Defensive Battle 49-43

The Eagles earned their second conference win in an ugly game.
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Earlier this week, the Eagles looked like a beaten team. After blowing two leads against Pitt and Miami, Boston College was in deep trouble. The offense wasn’t clicking and, even worse, the defense was giving away the store in the second half. On top of that, after losing to two middle of the road ACC teams with losing records, BC had to go up against the 13-5 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, a team that had whooped the Eagles two months earlier. Everything was pointing towards another tough loss but, with a little bit of magic, Boston College beat Tech on Sunday afternoon after holding the Yellow Jackets to a season-low 43 points.

The first quarter was less than spectacular for both teams. Though neither Georgia Tech nor BC committed too many turnovers, both teams suffered from some dreadful shooting. After the first six minutes of play, the score was still just 2-2. Taylor Soule scored one layup in the first, but couldn’t get going after that. The rest of the Eagles shared the same misfortune. Luckily for them, Georgia Tech wasn’t able to score either. Lotta-Maj Lahtinen, the Jackets’ guard who dropped 27 on BC in December, scored just one layup. After ten minutes of play, the Eagles were in the lead in an ugly barn-burner, 9-8.

The second quarter was equally slow; both teams still struggled to score. The only player on the floor who found some success was Cam Swartz. Swartz, who has quietly averaged 11.3 points per game for the Eagles this season, scored 9 of BC’s 16 second quarter points. After the first intermission, Swartz attacked downhill and hung in the air to score with a nifty finish over Lorella Cubaj. After that, she couldn’t miss. She attacked downhill again for two more and followed that up with a catch-and-shoot three off a screen from Ally Vantimmeren. Swartz finished the second quarter 4-4 from the field. On the other end, Nerea Hermosa and Lorella Cubaj worked a nice high-low post game, but the Georgia Tech guards never found their mark. When the horns sounded, BC led 25-20.

Everything looked good for BC going into the half which, if you watched them play earlier this week, is not necessarily a good omen. After leading at the half against Pitt and Miami, the Eagles gave up forty-plus points in the second half of both games. This game looked like it might go the same way. Georgia Tech picked up their offense in the second half, tallying 21 points in the third. Cubaj, Lahtinen, and Hermosa put together and nice three-man game while Loyal McQueen added 5 points of her own. Suddenly, after leading by 5 at the half, Boston College was down 4 with ten minutes to play.

Something changed, though, in the fourth quarter. The Georgia Tech offense, which had been running smoothly, went ice cold. The Yellow Jackets managed just 2 points in the quarter, going 0-12 from the field. Loyal McQueen’s free throws were the only points Tech managed to score. For BC, Cam Swartz continued her remarkable performance. Swartz added four more points and the assist on Taylor Soule’s game-tying layup. The junior guard would finish the game with 23 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists. Ally Vantimmeren, the freshman forward, sealed the game with a tough layup over Nerea Hermosa. After a comeback of their own, BC finally got that elusive second conference win.

Though it wasn’t a perfect game by any measure, BC stayed tough when it counted the most. After dropping two games after leading at halftime, Coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee should be proud of her team’s come from behind win. They deserve it. The Eagles will take a trip to the Carrier Dome to play Syracuse on Thursday night. Hopefully they can keep this little bit of momentum with them.

Photo courtesy of BCeagles.com