Just 39 seconds away from what might have been its first home ACC victory, the Boston College women’s basketball team carried the ball up court with a 71-69 lead over Wake Forest.
After using most of the 35 second shot clock, freshman guard Nicole Boudreau fired an open three from the left wing, which could have put the game out of reach. The shot glanced off the rim, though, and Wake Forest shooting guard Lakevia Boykin, who lead all scorers with 27 points, snatched the rebound. With 12 seconds still remaining, Boykin took the ball across court and when the Eagles drove the Demon sharp shooter off the three point line, Boykin found Wake Forest center Sandra Garcia all alone under the basket. The tie game headed into overtime.
Both teams clawed at the lead in the first overtime period. Neither could grasp it. Wake had a chance with the game tied at 78 in the final seconds, but Chelsea Douglas’ contested three fell short of the hoop.
After two hours of hard fought play, Wake would prove to have just enough left.
BC gained a quick 83-80 lead in the second overtime, but the Demon Deacon backcourt of Douglas and Boykin, which combined for 48 points, led Wake on a 7-0 run and eventually a 92-87 victory.
“I thought their switching defense really made it difficult for us,” BC head coach Erik Johnson said, “Even so, our players made plays. Their players made plays, and in a double overtime game you can second guess every play from the beginning, but you have to credit Wake Forest for doing an unbelievable job.”
Johnson acknowledged that he should have called a timeout before a key five second violation on a BC inbound in the last minute of regulation, still leading 71-69.
While the Eagles played an efficient, inside-out offensive game, shooting 54 percent from the field and 33 percent from downtown, they shot a dismal 3-for-8, 38 percent on free throws in the first half, before shooting 9-for-11 the rest of the game.
In a heated ACC matchup, BC and Wake committed a combined 42 turnovers.
“We lead the ACC in lowest number of turnovers before this game and for us to turn it over 22 times is obviously uncharacteristic for us,” Johnson said. “I thought that was probably the difference in the game.”
3-point shooting from the Demon Deacon backcourt also put the game out of reach for BC.
“We went under a couple of those ball screens down the stretch and [Wake] hit huge threes… [Douglas] and [Boykin] hit absolute daggers down the stretch,” Johnson said.
The loss of powerful 6-foot-3 center Katie Zenevitch to fouls in the middle of the first overtime gave Wake Forest a slight advantage, and that advantage was all the Deacons needed in the final overtime. Despite fouling out, Zenevitch scored 17 points on 8-for-10 shooting with seven rebounds. Freshman forward Alexa Coulombe provided 20 solid minutes, but the Deacon duo of Dearica Hamby and Garcia, both 6-foot-3, was lethal late in the game on the offensive glass.
Despite a valiant all around team effort in which each member of the starting (lol) five eclipsed at least 13 points, BC still remains frustrated by the result against a Wake Forest team that on paper and then on the court was their equal.
“There are certain teams in the ACC that are so good that boy you have to play really, really well, and then there are certain teams where you feel like you’re in the same category,” Johnson said. “When you’re playing one of them at home, hey, you expect to win those games.”
While BC must swallow a disheartening result, Johnson still found positives in the loss.
“I’m thrilled for our team, but I’m also just sick for them , because it hurts so bad to put yourself out there as we do and play with that kind of heart, emotion, grit, and toughness and come up short,” he said.