Notre Dame took on Boston College in a game between two ACC team’s trying to climb their way back to the top of the conference in time for the postseason. Unfortunately, the NCAA tournament may still be out of both team’s reach, but postseason doubts mean nothing in an ACC matchup. Unfortunately for the Eagles, they lost yet again by the score of 73-69, and Notre Dame finally received their first road win of the season.
Notre Dame is still struggling to adjust to the ACC style of play, but now it has won back-to-back games for the first time since the end of December, and the future is looking rather bright. Although the present is a little shaky for the Fighting Irish, this win was a huge confidence booster.
The game was close throughout, as expected from two teams that are fighting for their lives late in the season. Pat Connaughton lead the Irish in scoring with 17 points, while the team’s season leading scorer Eric Atkins came alive from beyond the arc. He cashed in four three-pointers in the game, which made up nine of his 16 points.
If the Irish want to be successful moving forward, Atkins needs to continue to not only be a threat from the perimeter, but also become a dynamic passer as well. Atkins is a senior, so his time is running out to show NBA scouts what exactly he is made of, but for right now he just needs to focus on becoming a balanced guard.
As for Boston College, its leading scorer Olivier Hanlan once again led the team in scoring with 18 points, but it was not enough to lead his team to victory. Ryan Anderson was dominant on the rebounding end with 11 boards, but that was pretty much the only rebounding help the Eagles received throughout the game. They were outrebounded 32-30, which is very disappointing considering the Irish are a very poor rebounding team themselves.
A shocking stat between the two teams was the amount of turnovers that they each committed. Both the Irish and the Eagles only committed seven turnovers throughout the game, which is very low compared to the top teams in the conference. It is one thing to be frustrated over a loss, but it is another thing to be frustrated over losing a game in which your team played virtually no-mistake basketball.
If a team like North Carolina committed as few turnovers as either of these teams in tonight’s game, then they would be right up there with the top 25 teams in the nation.
For two teams that most likely will not be relevant in March, they certainly played with a lot of heart in tonight’s game. That is all a fan could ask for out of a game like this, and for Notre Dame, it must be very relived that its team finally received a road win in one of the most difficult conferences in the nation.