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Notre Dame Basketball

Boston College Shoots Notre Dame Out of Purcell Pavilion 84-72

January 21, 2023

Boston College (9-11, 3-6) entered Purcell Pavilion on Saturday afternoon shooting 27.5 percent from three-point range for the year. 

The Eagles will return to Chestnut Hill with the 84-72 win, but also a higher three-point percentage as Boston College shot 11-for-19 (57.9%) deep. 7-foot big man Quinten Post led the Eagles as he scored 29 points and hit 4-of-5 from three-point range. 

“We were thinking we wanted them shooting threes,” stated Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey, who saw his team fall to 9-11 and 1-8 in ACC play. “The big fella makes three and everybody is feeling good. The numbers say you jam it in and let them shoot it. We did that and they make 11, which is painful. 

“You play the stats and the numbers and they didn't mean a thing today. They made big ones and they made some really tough ones at the end of a clock. You’re almost snake bite a little bit.” 

Post wasn’t the only Eagle hitting threes as Makai Ashton-Langford went 4-for-8 from three and finished with 20 points. 

As with many games this year and beyond, Notre Dame fought to get back in the game after trailing by 14 points following a 12-0 run to start the second half. The Irish took a 59-58 lead on a JJ Starling layup with 8:21 remaining in the game, but in typical fashion, Notre Dame couldn’t finish. 

Boston College nailed three more threes following Starling’s go-ahead bucket and then hit seven free throws to ice the game. The Eagles did exactly what Mike Brey’s veteran team was supposed to do all year given their experience. 

“That didn’t help,” Brey said of the start of the second half. “They’re physical, tough and old. They’ve been a very tough matchup for us the last couple of years with this nucleus. I thought it took it’s toll on us - their physicality, especially around the basket.” 

The Irish allowed Boston College to shoot 57 percent from the field and out-rebound Notre Dame 30-25. 

Nate Laszewski was the bright spot for Notre Dame as he finished with a game-high 29 points and seven rebounds, including going 7-for-9 from three. 

Laszewski’s performance wasn’t enough.

Notre Dame is old, but Brey’s team lacks the physicality and toughness of Boston College. Yet, the biggest disappointment might simply be the mental makeup of the veteran Irish squad. 

“You fight off a little bit of a woe is me look. Here it goes again. I’ve been here before with other teams. Hang in there. We came out of that funk and took the lead, but we just couldn’t get enough stops. That’s part of coaching when a group doubts itself.” 

Notre Dame sits at 1-8 in ACC play and have lost in a variety of ways. The cold starts at home were concerning, but now it’s just a given and one Brey hasn’t been able to find an answer to. 

“It’s a mental hurdle. You see it in sports. It’s the worst nightmare ever when you’re the coach of a group like that. Are we waiting for it to happen to us? You probably need a little luck and the other team help you some. 

“We gotta go play. We certainly have nothing to lose. There is nothing to be uptight about on Tuesday. Just play. Going on the road is probably a good thing.” 

Notre Dame’s season has been a long one, but this week was probably even longer for Brey’s team. Tuesday’s loss to Florida State hurt and then Brey announced he would step away from the program following the season on Thursday. 

Cormac Ryan felt there were positive signs during the week despite the distractions and the challenge will now be to play with more intensity. 

“I wouldn’t say it’s been difficult,” said Ryan. “I thought we actually had a couple great days of practice this week. We had some moments tonight where we played well and like ourselves. I think there’s a lot weighing on the group from the inevitable fact we are where we are and our challenge is to approach the future with that same intensity we did with game one.” 

Notre Dame will travel to NC State on Tuesday for a 7:00 PM tip on the ACC Network. 

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Boston College Shoots Notre Dame Out of Purcell Pavilion 84-72

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