Feb. 11, 2010
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP)–Sylvia Crawley returned to the gym where she contributed to so many wins as a player. She left with her first victory there as a coach.
Carolyn Swords scored 14 points to help Boston College beat No. 18 North Carolina 69-62 on Thursday night, giving Crawley a win against her alma mater.
Crawley, in her second season as the Eagles’ head coach, played for North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell on the Tar Heels’ 1994 NCAA championship team. They shared a brief handshake after the game.
“It was good for me to come back and see everything and see everyone,” Crawley said. “I think my players understood how important this game was, and I thought they played hard for me tonight.”
Kerri Shields added 13 points and Mickel Picco had 12 for the Eagles (14-10, 5-4 Atlantic Coast Conference), who won their third straight.
Italee Lucas scored 13 points on 5-of-16 shooting to lead North Carolina (16-7, 4-5), which has lost four in a row for the first time since 2000. Waltiea Rolle added 11 points and Chay Shegog had 10 points for the Tar Heels.
“I’m just really, really disappointed,” Hatchell said. “It’s like a bad dream. I just never thought that where we are right now and what happened to us tonight would happen to one of our teams.”
Boston College pulled away with a 9-0 run down the stretch, blowing open a game that was tied at 53 with 5:45 to play. The Tar Heels cut the lead to 62-58 on a 3-pointer by She’la White with 1:25 left, but they never got closer.
The Eagles overpowered North Carolina down low, outrebounding the Tar Heels 43-39 and outscoring them 25-9 on second-chance points. Swords gave Boston College the lead for good at 55-53 on a putback with 5:37 to go as the Eagles scored 11 of their final 16 points after offensive rebounds.
“They have very strong post players, and in the second half that’s what we decided we needed to do to win,” Swords said. “Everyone did a great job of crashing the boards.”
North Carolina also struggled on the perimeter, shooting just 38.5 percent from the field. Point guard Cetera DeGraffenreid, who was held out of the starting lineup because of recent struggles, spent the final 6:55 on the bench as the Tar Heels lost back-to-back games at home for the first time since 2004.
“We’re playing like we’re in slow motion,” Hatchell said.
The Tar Heels certainly started that way. Boston College jumped out to a 17-6 lead, scoring on eight of its first 10 possessions, and led 26-17 with 7 minutes remaining in the first half.
The Tar Heels closed the half on a 9-0 run to take a 34-31 lead into halftime, and they scored the first five points of the second half to take their biggest lead at 39-31.
But North Carolina couldn’t maintain the momentum. Picco made a 3-pointer to tie the score at 43 with 14 minutes to go, and the Eagles followed up their 61-57 win over Duke last week with another upset.
“We got off to a very slow start, but I think we are beginning to peak at the right time,” Crawley said. “We haven’t peaked yet, and that’s the scary part for this team. This is around the time of the season where you want your team to begin to peak, and I think we’re in the right spot at the right time.”