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Notre Dame 71, Boston College 63: Eagles Second-Half Upset Bid Falls Short

The Irish dominated the Eagles in the first half but then the Eagles made a strong comeback late in the second half behind's Olivier Hanlan's season high 28 points.

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Boston College went down big early.

With 14:47 left to play in the first half, Notre Dame opened up a double digit lead. Notre Dame then stretched that lead out to 25 with five minutes left to play in the first half. Suddenly, with 3 minutes left to play in the game, Olivier Hanlan hit a 3 to cut the lead to 8. Olivier Hanlan then hit another 3 on the next possession for BC to cut it to six after Notre Dame hit one of two from the line. Notre Dame answered with a 3, but Hanlan once again answered with his third consecutive 3 to keep the Notre Dame lead at 6 with 1:45 to go. After a stop, Heckmann missed a 3 that could have cut it to 3. Demetrius Jackson and Aaron Brown then exchanged buckets to keep the lead at 6. Aaron Brown's layup ended 14 straight points for BC being scored by Olivier Hanlan. Pat Connaughton then hit the first free throw for Notre Dame but missed the second, giving BC a chance. However, Demetrius Jackson grabbed the offensive rebound putting an end to the Boston College comeback. Boston College lost to Notre Dame 71-63.

The first half was very forgettable for the Eagles except for a half court shot that Dimitri Batten threw in as time expired to end the half.

Olivier Hanlan had a great game scoring, going 11-16 from the field and 6 of 9 from 3. He also added 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals. In the second half, Hanlan got hot and looked like he could carry the Eagles to victory over anyone remaining on the schedule if he can sustain that level of play. Aaron Brown was the second leading scorer as usual with 13 but then they did not get much help after that.

Dennis Clifford played the most minutes he has played in a few weeks and looked good for most of the time he was on the floor, grabbing 7 boards and scoring 6 points. Patrick Heckmann struggled on the night though, finishing with 3 points on 1-7 shooting. Had a third player stepped up and helped out with some scoring, the Eagles might have had a chance to pull off the upset against #10 Notre Dame given Olivier Hanlan's hot shooting tonight.

Notre Dame's Jerian Grant did not have a great night by his very high standards and finished with 17 points. Zach Auguste, Steve Vasturia, and Pat Connaughton also finished with double digit scoring for the Irish. The Notre Dame defense did relax some when they had a large lead to allow BC to get the comeback started, but in the second half it seemed that the teams were both fairly evenly matched—which should be encouraging, or another one of those moral victories for BC and their fans.

Next up for the Eagles is North Carolina at home who have lost two straight games to Louisville and Virginia.