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BC 84, BU 65

A big start for Eagles

BC overpowers Young, Terriers

By Jeff Powalisz
Globe Correspondent / November 13, 2010

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They didn’t wait long to settle their differences.

The BC and BU women’s basketball programs began their seasons last night with an immediate opportunity to claim cross-town bragging rights.

With a lively Case Gym crowd validating the strength of their rivalry, Boston College used its size advantage and a dominant second-half performance to take an 84-65 victory.

“Our team figured out what they needed to do,’’ BC coach Sylvia Crawley said. “[Boston University] gave us some problems early, but we made the right adjustments. We’re a second-half team.’’

Carolyn Swords (16 points, 18 rebounds) had her way inside, but more importantly, the Eagles’ 6-foot-6-inch center answered the call of her coach.

“She had four rebounds at half, and I told her, ‘I want 10 more,’ ’’ Crawley said. “She got 14 more.’’

Stefanie Murphy was a force in the paint for the Eagles as well, registering 10 points and six rebounds.

“BC’s an ACC team and they’re bigger,’’ BU coach Kelly Greenberg said. “Unfortunately, when you’re focusing so much on Swords, they’re open for threes, which really hurt us. [Swords and Murphy] are very good. They play very unselfishly.’’

The Terriers, down just 3 at the half (40-37), lost much of the momentum that carried them into the locker room.

The Eagles started to take over seven minutes into the second half. Two free throws, followed by a Kristen Doherty steal and basket, put BC up by, 61-47. A 14-2 run continued until 8:33 remained, when Swords earned a basket and foul.

Any semblance of hope remaining for BU was gone toward the five-minute mark, when Jaclyn Thoman’s basket put BC up, 75-55.

Junior Alex Young was outstanding for the Terriers, recording nearly half of her team’s points (30) and hitting five 3-pointers.

Young’s inspiring play, however, was unable to erase a stinging loss for a BU program that returned all five starters and was widely picked to finish atop the America East.

“We play games to win them,’’ Greenberg said. “We have some girls down there that are really disappointed.’’

Five minutes in, Doherty’s 3-pointer — the Eagles hit 10 of 16 on the night — gave BC a 14-6 lead. But with a 7-point run by BU over the next two minutes, capped by a hard-fought Chantell Alford basket inside, BC was kept on its toes.

With four minutes to go, the Eagles were in charge, 40-31, but the Terriers erased most of the deficit by the half.

Young hit a jumper, capitalizing on a fatigued BC defense, and brought the Terriers back within 7 with 1:52 to go. Her 3-pointer on the team’s final possession cut the deficit to 3 and had her teammates running off the court with renewed confidence.