The Eagles entered their ACC matchup with Notre Dame with the hopes that they could regroup after dropping their last five games to end the regular season and at least win their first game. The match-up against Notre Dame certainly wasn’t a too unfavorable one as BC had played the Fighting Irish to last shot in both of their games. Despite entering the game on a five game losing streak there was some good news. While Nik Popovic did not travel to Greensboro but Jairus and Jared Hamilton and Julian Rishwain did make the trip and they did play. The good vibes did not last long.
Both teams started out the first half slow. The Eagles fought back from an early 0-5 deficit, bringing the game to within 2 but then the old ghosts rose once more in the form of turnovers, missed shots and bad defense. The Eagles had more turnovers than field goals at one time in the first frame, with 4 field goals and 7 turnovers. The Eagles lacked patience on offense, not moving the ball around to find the open shot; instead settling for rushed shots. On defense they lacked...everything. Notre Dame seemed to have acres of space on the floor and their were missed slides and help on screens that was way too slow. The Fighting Irish went on a 5-0 run, an 8-0 run, and the a 10-0 run which all built to 19-32 lead with 1:59 left in the half. However, BC went on a quick 7-0 run that brought BC to within 11. The Eagles had the chance to cut it to single digits but then Notre Dame scored a quick four points right at the end of the half. During that brief BC streak Jairus Hamilton was the one that provided the spark with 10 of BC’s 23 points. The Eagles went into the locker-room down 21-36.
Entering the second half the Eagles looked like they’d finally got their act together. They start sending the ball into the paint where Notre Dame’s zone was weakest which led to more buckets. After some back and forth action BC was able to go on a 7-0 run to draw within 7 with 10:29 left in the half. It was the closest the Eagles would get the rest of the game. Notre Dame went on a 6-0 run and it killed the momentum BC had built up. Despite great efforts by Jairus Hamilton and Steffon Mitchell who had a game high 20 points and 13 rebounds the Eagles couldn’t slow down the Fighting Irish enough to close the gap. Hamilton, Mitchell, and Jay Heath accounted for 47 of BC’s 58 points. The Eagles leading scorer, Derryck Thornton, in his last collegiate game, went missed all nine of his shots. While the offensive effort improved the Eagles could never get it right on defense. BC fell to Notre Dame 58-80.
BC wraps up its season in disappointing fashion but at the same time in a way that will not surprise any Eagles fans. The Eagles were certainly not at full strength but overall the poor defensive performance seemed to be more of a lack of effort than anything else. Most of the time it seemed to be five against three and that was when Jairus Hamilton didn’t have to sit down due to his knee. Steffon Mitchell, Jairus Hamilton and Jay Heath deserves a ton of praise for without them this game would have been even uglier than it was. Once again it was just a matter of BC only executing in certain aspects of the game and even then not for a full twenty minutes.