The Boston College men’s basketball team defeated Notre Dame 73-72 on Saturday, topping the Fighting Irish for the first time since 2004. While the Eagles never trailed, the Irish made a strong push late in the game and nearly pulled off the comeback win.
The Eagles got off to a hot start, pulling away midway through the first half and taking a 10-point lead into the halftime break. Point guard Derryck Thornton once again filled a leadership role for BC, finishing with a team-high 19 points.
Freshman guard Jay Heath was also a solid contributor for the Eagles, hitting four of his six three-point attempts including a late shot which stole momentum back after Notre Dame made a scoring push in the final minutes.
The Irish, meanwhile, were buoyed by TJ Gibbs, who finished with 22 points on 6-of-11 shooting. However, with a chance to tie the game in the final seconds, Gibbs missed the first of two free throws, which eventually made the difference in a one-point Boston College victory.
Shortly after Gibbs’ missed free throw, the Eagles missed the front end of a one-and-one, giving the Irish some life with less than two seconds remaining. Notre Dame, however, failed to convert on the opportunity, missing a potential game-winner at the buzzer.
The win is a breath of fresh air for the Eagles, who had dropped four in a row before Saturday. Now 5-5, Boston College hopes to start a winning streak with consecutive home matchups against Albany and Central Connecticut. A strong performance over the next few weeks will be crucial, as the Eagles open a brutal ACC slate on Dec. 31 against Duke.
The Eagles face a quick turnaround following the win over the Irish, with a Tuesday night home tilt with Albany quickly approaching.
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