The Boston College Eagles and Wake Forest Demon Deacons both entered Thursday night’s clash searching for their first conference win. After a hard-fought 40 minutes, the Eagles came out on top in the final seconds with a 65-64 victory.
The game was won on the glass for the Eagles as their shooting was inconsistent (38.2% from the field and 29.4% from three). While BC committed some sloppy fouls and was dominated in the free throw battle (Wake Forest shot 19-21 to BC’s 3-4), they controlled the glass all night long with an impressive +12 rebound margin. Wake Forest entered the game averaging a +9.4 rebound margin per game.
Entering the contest sixth in the nation in offensive rebounding, the Eagles put together another outstanding effort. 19 of their 42 rebounds came on the offensive end, including Makayla Dickens’ massive rebound with under 3 seconds left to seal the victory. The Eagles also did an excellent job of sharing the basketball. As a team, 18 of their 26 baskets came off assists, and they only turned the ball over ten times.
BC started out hot in the first quarter from deep, hitting three of six threes. However, the quarter ended tied at 17 after BC committed 9 fouls, including 2 early calls against Emma Guy, forcing her to the bench. Wake Forest capitalized from the line.
The Eagles pulled ahead in the second, entering halftime with a 36-28 lead. The three-ball cooled off (3-11 in the quarter), but their spacing opened up easy looks inside. Milan Bolden-Morris played a big role off the bench, with 6 of her 13 points in the quarter.
Elisa Penna exploded for 13 points in the third quarter for Wake Forest, including a lay-up that cut the Eagles lead to just one in the opening three minutes of the quarter. However, BC was able to respond to Wake Forest's run.
Taylor Ortlepp, a junior guard, immediately hit a three for BC in response, one of her 5 on the night in addition to a team-high 19 points. The Eagles led 54-47 going into the fourth quarter after holding a game-high 14 point lead midway through the third.
The Demon Deacons would once again cut the lead to one after going on a blistering 19-6 run over 6:26 of game time. Penna had two easy looks and hit a pair of free throws that would make the score 65-64 with 2:11 remaining.
The game ended scoreless from that point on. After a scare when Dickens dribbled the ball off the leg of a defender with just over 30 seconds left, which was ruled a BC turnover before official review reversed the call, the Eagles held on for a victory. BC pulled down three clutch rebounds in the final minute, two of which were offensive.
BC Women’s basketball, now 12-4 on the season, travels to Pittsburgh next, looking to get to .500 in conference play in a matchup with the Panthers. They tip off Sunday, the 13th, at 1 p.m. The 9-6 Demon Deacons have a harder upcoming game against top-ranked Notre Dame, coming off a win versus the No. 2 ranked Louisville Cardinals.
After going 2-14 in conference play last season, the Eagles will have a chance to match last year's ACC win total on Sunday.
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