by Mike Potter
GREENSBORO COLISEUM Lower-seeded teams have been overperforming all day long in the 36th ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament, and we’ll see if it continues in the nightcap.
The same two teams met in the first round last season, with the Cavaliers rolling 72-41.
The teams split a pair of meetings during the regular season, with Virginia winning 69-57 on Jan. 24 in Charlottesville while the Eagles won 61-49 on Feb. 14 in Chestnut Hill.
Duke alumna Joanne Boyle coaches Virginia.
Tonight BC comes out believing, then foils a Cavalier rally in the second half to escape with a 66-57 win.
The Eagles lead 32-22 at the half. Virginia takes its first lead after the break on Ataira Franklin’s 3-pointer to make it 42-40 with 11:05 to go, but leads for the last time on Sarah Imovbioh’s three-point play with 7:53 to go.
Kerri Shields’ jumper gets the Eagles the lead back for good at 7:18, and they pull away in the last minute for the final score.
Shields leads BC with 16 points, followed by Kristen Doherty with 15, Katie Zenevitch 12 and Tessah Holt 11.
Franklin leads all scorers with 17 followed by Faith Randolph’s 15. Imovbioh has 10 rebounds and five points.
BC shoots 46.4 percent to the Cavaliers’ 39.6. Virginia wins the rebound battle 35-34 but commits 18 turnovers to BC’s 16.
They said it …
BC coach Erik Johnson: “We’re really, really happy with the way the team played. Virginia came out with an energy and a toughness, and I was impressed with them. I saw a lot of emotions coming through these guys after the game. … The big part of preparation was simply we’re playing another basketball game. We came, soaked up the atmosphere and enjoyed it. We tried to demystify it a little bit.”
Boyle: “A lot of credit to BC. They came out understanding it was tournament time. They played great and I’m just disappointed for our seniors to go out on this note. We scored obviously much better in the second half than in the first half. I just feel like we came out and were shell-shocked on defense and we let it affect our offense.”
What does it all mean?
That BC is still kicking, and that Virginia gets to wait for the WNIT.
Stars of the game
Play of the game
Holt’s steal and layup with 58 seconds left to put BC up 61-57.
UVa: Lost 1.
BC: Won 2.
Virginia leads 11-4.
Boston College vs. UNC, Friday, 8 p.m.
Virginia in 2013-14 season opener