The Boston College Eagles were doing something that most college basketball teams do not encounter. They were finishing a stretch of playing three games in six days. The last two of those contests went to overtime. It’s hard to say if the Eagles had their legs with them last night, but what can be said is playing at Notre Dame has never been a good idea.
Coming into Tuesday night’s matchup with the Fighting Irish, Boston College had lost their last nine tries at ND. In fact, the last Eagle win took place back in 1997. It didn’t help that Notre Dame was coming home trying to snap a seven-game losing streak. Four players ended up in double-figures led by T.J. Gibbs who finished with 28 points, and the Irish got back on the winning track with a 96-85 win over Boston College.
Even in defeat, the night belonged to BC’s junior guard Jerome Robinson who went for a career-high 46 points on 15-for-23 from the field, 7 for 12 from three-point land and a perfect nine for nine from the foul line. It’s too bad he got little help from his friends.
In the first half, Boston College would have the lead on three different occasions, the last time was on a Robinson basket that made the score 7-6 Eagles with a little more than two minutes gone in the game. They would never see the lead again for the rest of the night.
Part of the reason for that might be the poor perimeter defense the Eagles played all night. The Irish would hit on 52.5% of their shots for the game, and 55% 16-for-29 from deep. You can’t win on the road in the ACC giving up those kinds of numbers, Boston College did not.
After Robinson tied the game for the second and final time at 14-14 on a three, the Irish put on their own three-point show. T.J. Gibbs would knock down four straight bombs to give the home team a nine-point lead at 23-14 with 11:44 left in first half.
The Eagles did all they could to stay within reach of the Irish, but on this night ND had more scores than the Eagles did. Three Gibbs free throws gave the Irish there first ten point advantage at 28-18 with 9:30 left in the half. Boston College would cut it to four at 35-31 behind another three from Robinson, and bucket from Jordan Chatman. The Irish would end the half, outscoring BC 12-7 to take a 47-38 lead to the locker room. Gibbs had 22 points, Robinson had 18.
In the second half, Boston College began by shooting 1-9 and the Irish stayed hot. An 11-2 run gave ND their biggest lead of the night at 58-40. BC started to find the range as an 8-2 burst chopped the lead to 12 at 60-48. Robinson was at the center of it with a dunk and a four-point play.
A Bowman three (11 points) cut the lead to ten at 63-53 with 11:18 left to play An 8-2 Eagles spurt brought them to within five at 68-63 forcing Irish head coach Mike Brey to call timeout with nine minutes left. Two Chatman free throws had the Eagles back to a one-possession game at 70-68 with six to play.
— Boston College Men's Basketball (@BCMBB) February 7, 2018
A big three from Matt Farrell (19 for him) pushed the lead back to seven at 75-68. Robinson responded with a three of his own and it was 75-71 ND. A 7-2 Irish run gave them back a nine-point lead at 82-73 with 3:37 to play. They put the game away with a 10-2 finished. Back to back three point shot from Mooney and Rex Pflueger 13 on the night, 94-77 home team under a minute left.
Notre Dame snapped their seven-game skid with the win and they improved to 14-10, 4-7 in ACC. Boston College drops to 14-10, 4-7 in league play. The Eagles are back home taking on Miami on Saturday afternoon.
On another note, Eagles starting center Nico Popovic left the game in the first half and did not return. His injury was described an Ab strain, no word on if he can play on Saturday.