Extra Credit

Extra Credit

Lynch School of Education junior Amber Jacobs says she loves to work with kids, and now she has some valuable lessons to share with them about keeping cool under pressure and never giving up.

Amber Jacobs
In two games over a span of three days, the human development major from Clarks Summit, Pa., hit last-second shots to carry the Boston College women's basketball team to victory in the first and second rounds of the NCAA tournament.

Last Saturday, she snared a loose ball and made a jump shot with 3 seconds to play, rallying BC to a 73-72 triumph over Old Dominion. Then on Monday night, she made a lay-up with 2.5 seconds left to give the Eagles a stunning 86-85 overtime win over favored Vanderbilt.

With the two wins, the BC women's team earned its first-ever trip to the tournament's "Sweet Sixteen" round, and will face powerhouse Connecticut this Sunday in Dayton, Ohio.

Making good on a buzzer-beater a la Michael Jordan is, of course, a basketball player's dream come true. To do it in consecutive games, and at the most crucial time of the year, is the stuff of ESPN highlights. In fact, footage of her shot against Vanderbilt, and the ecstatic celebration that followed, was broadcast both locally and nationally. Her 6-foot-1 teammate Becky Gottstein called the 5-foot-8 Jacobs "our little savior."

But Jacobs was straightforward and analytical as she described the game-winning plays in an interview on Wednesday morning. The shot against Old Dominion, she said, was a matter of making sure she had the ball, then setting up to take as accurate a shot as possible. "It felt good to me when it left my hands."

In the other game, she explained, BC had time to plan for its shot, and Coach Cathy Inglese had given Jacobs some options, depending on Vanderbilt's defensive scheme. Jacobs credits Eagle forward Kim Mackie '03 for creating enough space to enable her to drive to the basket and, despite the last-second appearance of a Vanderbilt defender - "She came out of nowhere, and I had to bank the ball high off the backboard" - score the winning points. She tallied 25 for the game.

"But the thing is," she added, "whether or not I made those shots - and it's great when that happens - I had my teammates behind me. They did some fantastic things that helped us stay in those games and give us a chance to win. I was just glad to do my part."

Jacobs is not entirely sure about her career path, but says she would not mind coaching at the college level some day. In any case, she says she knows her future is working with children, including at the summer basketball camp her father runs.

So, does her recent achievement have anything to impart to kids?

"I guess it just shows that you keep playing until the final buzzer goes off," she said. "Keep working together and believe you can win."

-Sean Smith


Return to March 28 menu

Return to Chronicle home page