BOSTON – Jessica Breland had 18 points and nine rebounds, scoring on a late tip-in after Boston College cut the deficit to one point and then forcing a jump ball to help No. 8 North Carolina hold on and beat the Eagles 84-83 on Sunday.
North Carolina (15-1, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) led by as many as 17 points in the second half, but BC erased most of the gap and twice had the ball and a chance to take the lead.
Chay Shegog scored 16 points with eight rebounds and Cetera DeGraffenreid had 10 points, seven steals and six assists for the Tar Heels, who were coming off a 71-70 loss to Georgia Tech on Thursday that knocked them from the ranks of the unbeaten.
Kerri Shields scored 18 points on six 3-pointers, and Stefanie Murphy had 14 points and 13 rebounds for BC (13-3, 0-1).
Carolina led 58-41 with 16 minutes left, but midway through the second half Shields hit four 3-pointers in less than two minutes to eliminate half of the deficit. It was 72-70 when the Tar Heels defense tightened up; BC couldn't get a good shot off before the shot clock buzzer on two straight possessions, and Carolina scored eight straight points to open an 80-70 lead.
Kristen Doherty and Shields made 3-pointers to cut UNC's lead to 82-81 with 2:40 left. That's when DeGraffenreid came up with a steal and got the ball ahead to Italee Lucas on the fast break; she missed the layup but Breland tipped it back in to make it 84-81.
Doherty, who scored 13, missed a 3-pointer on BC's next possession and Breland tied up Murphy on the rebound for a jump ball; the alternate possession arrow gave the ball to Carolina. After DeGraffenreid's missed foul shot, Murphy made a layup that made it a one-point game, but there was only 3.4 seconds left.
BC fouled and Lucas missed the foul shot, but the Eagles were out of timeouts and time expired as Murphy tried to dribble into position for the shot.