Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Basketball

Notre Dame Tops 20-Win Mark with 84-76 Win at Boston College

February 14, 2017
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Notre Dame (20-7, 9-5) and Boston College (9-18, 2-12) got off to a hot start offensively, but it was defense and free throws that decided Tuesday night’s game in Chesnut Hill (Mass.). The Irish got the stops they needed and held on for an 84-76 win on the road.

"We are really fortunate to get out of here with a win," stated Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey. "I thought Boston College played fabulous in the first half. They really have good young perimeter guys.

"I think the story was that we defended better in the second half. We played a little zone and changed it up. We went zone and it changed their rhythm. We made some big shots and made some big three throws." 

The Irish overcame 29 points and nine rebounds from Eagles freshman point guard Ky Bowman to get the win. Bonzie Colson led the Irish with 20 points and six rebounds.

Colson got a dunk with 3:58 left in the ball game to put Notre Dame up 78-72 and it would be the last field goal from both teams in the game. Bowman hit four free throws over the final two minutes, while Notre Dame hit six from the charity line to get the win.

Boston College went the final 5:16 without a field goal.

"I think we got six straight stops in zone," Brey said. "You’re not in your man-to-man offensive rhythm and you’re playing differently. We went back man and were able to finish."

Bowman knocked home his fourth three-pointer of the game to give Boston College a 58-48 lead with 15:36 to play in the game. However, the shot finally woke up Notre Dame.

VJ Beachem scored five quick points to cut the lead to five and then Matt Farrell knocked home back to back shots from downtown to tie the game at 59.

Beachem finished his night with 16 points and four three-pointers, while Farrell added 19 points and five shots from deep.

Colson capped a 10-0 by Notre Dame with a tip dunk to put the Irish up 63-59 with 11:22 to play.

Beachem and Farrell then combined to hit back-to-back shots from behind the arc to extend Notre Dame’s lead 69-61.

"The one thing about Matt Farrell, he senses when we need it," stated Brey. "He’s been that kind of an assassin all year. Bonz is Bonz. They defended him pretty good and I knew they’d come after him after the week he had last week.

"I thought he let it come to him. He made some plays and kept it simple. I thought VJ got going.  He was kind of quiet, but that’s been his career. All of a sudden he can make two or three big threes and change the complexion of the game."

On the game, Notre Dame outrebounded Boston College 33-32 and went 19 for 21 from the free throw line.

The first eight minutes of the ball game were all about offense as both teams came out firing. The Eagles were on fire as they hit 4 of 5 from downtown but also were 9 of 12 from the field. Freshman point guard Ky Bowman was 3 of 3 from three-point range during the stretch.

“They were fabulous in the first half,” stated Brey. “We couldn’t guard them. We had no answer for them in the first half.”

Notre Dame didn’t start horribly as they were 6 of 13 from the field, but trailed 24-19 midway through the first half.

Things didn’t get much better for Notre Dame as Boston College would open up a double-digit lead, which included leading by 13 points at one point.

Bowman, who was originally committed to North Carolina for football and held an offer from Alabama, scored 17 points with three rebounds and three assists in the first half to lead the Eagles.

Farrell hit back-to-back three-pointers to end the half, but Garland Owens hit his first field goal since January 7th at the buzzer to give Boston College a 49-39 halftime lead.

Vasturia led Notre Dame with nine points, two rebounds, and three assists. Colson and Farrell chipped in eight first-half points.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Ky Bowman. The freshman hit 8 of 15 shots from the field, which included five three-pointers. He also went 8 for 8 from the foul line and pulled down nine rebounds to go with three assists. The Eagles might not have gotten the win, but Bowman was the most impressive player on the floor on Tuesday.

STAT LINE OF THE GAME: Notre Dame hit 19 of 21 (90%) shots from the free throw line. In a tight game, it needs no explanation.

TURNING POINT: Bowman hit a three-pointer to give Boston College 10-point lead with 15:36 left in the second half, but the Eagles wouldn’t score another field goal until Bowman hit another three at the 10:22 mark. During that time period, Notre Dame went on a 21-6 run to take a 69-64 lead.

WHAT’S NEXT: Notre Dame will travel to North Carolina State for a 12:00 p.m. ET tip on Saturday. It will be Notre Dame’s first look at freshman sensation Dennis Smith Jr.
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