Heading into Saturday’s matchup between Notre Dame and Boston College, the Fighting Irish were ranked second in the country in field goal percentage, shooting nearly 51 percent from the field. Unfortunately for the Eagles, Notre Dame shot lights-out yet again, converting an astounding 66 percent of its field goals as it went on to defeat Boston College 87-70.
The Irish’s strong shooting can be attributed to their dominance inside. Notre Dame outscored BC 48-28 in the paint while outrebounding the Eagles 29-20. Boston College coach Jim Christian noted the Irish’s strong inside presence by stating, “They finish inside better than any team in the league.” Christian later added, “When those guys drive in, it’s two or three [points].”
Two main reasons for Notre Dame's success down low were Massachusetts natives Zach Auguste and Bonzie Colson. Both forwards had big games in their homecomings: Auguste finished with 14 points and 7 rebounds while Colson added 6 rebounds to go along with his 16 points on 8-9 from the field.
Perhaps most important for Notre Dame’s success Saturday afternoon was senior guard Jerian Grant. Entering the game as the ACC leader in assists per game with 6.3, Grant nearly doubled his season average, recording 11 assists against the Eagles.
In addition, Grant scored 10 points, while adding 5 rebounds, 1 block, and 1 steal. Christian alluded to the senior guard’s strong presence, saying, “I was unbelievably impressed with how he played the game . . . I thought today he was outstanding.”
Boston College was led by the trio of Aaron Brown, Olivier Hanlan, and Dennis Clifford. The three combined for over 80 percent of the Eagles points, scoring 22, 19, and 17, respectively. In fact, the BC's bench only added 5 points, all coming from guard Dimitri Batten. This bench production pales in comparison to the Irish’s 30 bench points.
Following Saturday’s loss, the Eagles remain last in the ACC at 1-13. They travel to Pittsburgh on Tuesday, looking to avenge an overtime loss to the Panthers earlier this year, while also trying to snap their eight-game losing streak.
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