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Final Score and Thoughts: Boston College Men’s Basketball vs. Notre Dame

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NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Boston College Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Final Score: Notre Dame 79, Boston College 73

Notre Dame caught fire from deep early this afternoon in Chestnut Hill, hitting three of their first four en route to an 11-7 lead at the first media timeout. Ky Bowman and Jared Hamilton each brought good energy and defensive effort early on, combing to score the first nine for the Eagles, although Jordan Chatman looked slow and again missed open threes. It would have been good to see more three guard action with Jared Hamilton, Wynston Tabbs, and Bowman. On multiple occasions, Chatman allowed his man to beat him with straight line drives, which was a large reason the Irish got out to a quick lead.

However, the Eagles started hitting the middle of the Notre Dame zone, which allowed them to cut into the lead and make it a one possession game for much of the first half. Luka Kraljevic also gave good minutes, particularly on the defensive side where he got two big stops to rejuvenate the Eagle bench. Jairus Hamilton also stepped up and played well in his first half action, commanding the high post on offense and being solid and moving his feet well on defense. He and Luka were a big reason for a major Notre Dame drought in the middle of the first half. Hamilton grabbed offensive rebounds on back to back possessions, bookending a strong defensive stand by he and Bowman against John Mooney on the inside. The team as a whole looks extremely coachable and attentive, which makes Jim Christian’s job as a whole so much easier.

Nik Popovic’s strides have been well documented this year, but every game it appears his finishing around the basket improves. He has not missed easy layups around the basket, which makes him a reliable option for the BC guards.

Towards the end of the first half, Notre Dame started to heat up from three, getting three straight from Nikola Djogo, DJ Harvey, and Prentiss Hubb, who errupted for 10 points in the first half en route to a five point lead at the half.

At the start of the second half, the Eagles were much more efficient on both sides of the ball, taking only 3 minutes and 7 seconds to tie the game. Jared Hamilton scored eight quick points in the second half and brought good energy on the defensive end, hitting midrange jump shots and floaters in the lane. Jordan Chatman hit a big three ball with a hand in his face to tie the game at 50, and then Bowman hit a mid range jumper to give the Eagles their first lead of the second half, which Temple Gibbs quickly took away with a three ball. For much of the second half, the Eagles and the Irish exchanged baskets with neither team able to pull apart by more than two or three points. Again in the second half, Jairus Hamilton came into the game and brought a good presence on defense and the offensive boards.

Chatman consistently hit midrange jumpers in the second half, curling off of pindown screens and did a great job of setting his feet, squaring the the basket, and knocking them down.

With 3:30 left, Ky Bowman shook Prentiss Hubb with a strong crossover and went right into the chest of the shot blocker to cut the ND lead to just one point, prompting a Notre Dame time out and making Conte Forum as loud as it has been all day, but a John Mooney three extended the Irish lead to 4. However, Jared Hamilton, as he’d done all game, hit a wide open corner three to cut the lead back to 1.

However, Notre Dame was too much down the stretch as Nikola Djogo and John Mooney both hit multiple big shots and the Eagles couldn’t execute, as the Irish escaped Conte Forum with a win.