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Notre Dame Basketball

Same Mistakes Lead to Notre Dame Falling to Boston College 61-58

January 27, 2024
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Notre Dame (7-13, 2-7) basketball is in a rut and it’s not one any team wants to be in 20 games into the season. 

If you’ve seen Fighting Irish in the last month, then you’ve watched Saturday’s 61-58 loss to Boston College (12-8, 3-6) at some point as the ending was a familiar story. 

The Irish played quality defense, turned the ball over in crunch time and couldn’t find a consistent flow on offense for significant portions of the game, which had nothing to do with the Eagles defense. 

“I don’t pretend to know much,” stated Notre Dame head coach Micah Shrewsberry. “I think Groundhog Day is in February. For us, Groundhog Day has been every single time we’ve had a game. We just have to find a way not to make the same mistakes every game. We have to find a way to do some things that lead to winning - do more things that lead to winning. 

“We need to do more of that and we won’t have this feeling.” 

That feeling continues to happen as a result of Notre Dame’s inconsistent offense. The Irish were held for over seven minutes without a point in the first half and had another scoring drought in the final minutes. 

Notre Dame shot just 37 percent for the game and 31 percent from deep, while Boston College limited Markus Burton to 10 points on 5-of-10 shooting. The Irish also recorded just two points in transition after forcing 12 Boston College turnovers. 

JR Konieczny had 11 of Notre Dame’s first 13 points on his way to a game-high 15 points, while freshman Braeden Shrewsberry scored all of his 14 points in the second half. 

Much of the final 20 minutes was a one-possession game, yet again, Notre Dame couldn’t finish because the Irish turned the ball over eight times, including back-to-back turnovers from Burton, on the way to 13 turnovers for the game. 

The late-game turnovers of early in the season are still happening and outside of Burton, Notre Dame doesn’t have a consistent scorer when the game is on the line.

“Very frustrating,” Shrewsberry said of the turnovers.” That’s one of the things that is holding us back. I didn’t think we guarded particularly well in the second half, but we scored better than we had. We just can’t keep turning the ball over and making mistakes that are holding us back.” 

Yes, Shrewsberry’s has a young team, but 20 games into the season, Notre Dame’s head coach is still searching for growth from his team. 

It starts on the offensive end as Carey Booth, Julian Roper and Tae Davis combined to score seven points. And Davis recorded six of the seven. 

“You should growing towards that,” explained Shrewsberry. “After 20 games, I guess you’re still a freshman or sophomore, but you’re getting close to being a sophomore or junior. We’ve been in these situations a lot and just not closing it the right way.

“We gotta be better. We have to do more. Sometimes we do the same things. We have to keep learning and teaching. We can’t get discouraged as a staff, as players or anybody who is involved with our group. We can’t get tired of teaching.” 

Notre Dame has now dropped four straight and six of the last seven games, which is hard to spin into a positive, but one silver lining is only one of those losses was by double digits. 

Shrewsberry believes his team can not only compete in the ACC, but win games if they start to eliminate the mistakes that have plagued the season. 

“It’s right there,” said Shrewsberry. “If we were getting blown out every game, then that would be a problem getting focused. It’s like, if I change one or two things, we’re probably winning. There is hope. You can see hope. You can see progress. Now, it’s like saying it or doing it. We have to get from the saying phase to the doing phase. 

“I keep telling them it’s there for you. Whenever you want to do it, you can get a win. All these opportunities are there for you. Sometimes you have to reach out and take it instead of worrying whether the stove is hot or not. Man, touch the stove. Who cares. Shit might hurt a little bit, but who cares. Touch the stove.” 

Devin McGlockton led the Eagles with 15 points and six boards. Quentin Post added 10 points and four rebounds before fouling out. 

UP NEXT
Notre Dame will hit the road for a Wednesday night clash with Virginia. The Irish won the first meeting 76-54 in December. 

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