After a blowout loss against the Louisville Cardinals, Boston College looked to win their second game against a middling Notre Dame team this season. Though they fought hard for this one, Notre Dame pulled away at the end, winning 83-73. They played admirably for forty minutes, but this was a tough loss for BC. They surrendered 44 points in the paint and went on long scoring droughts throughout the afternoon. After this loss, Boston College moves to 5-7 on the season.
This game was a story of long uninterrupted runs from both teams. The Eagles and the Irish seemed to trade quarters back and forth. In the first, it was BC’s show. The Eagles forced five turnovers and were eager to run transition. Taylor Soule scored an early and-one and Cam Swartz banked in a nice floater on the next possession. When the tempo slowed down, Boston College’s half=court offense was just as good. Even as they struggled to score in the paint, the inside-out game was there. Soule and Ally Vantimmeren found open shooters on kick-out passes. In total, BC shot 4-6 from three in the first quarter. The Eagles led at the end of one, 18-14.
Just as it did in the games against Wake Forest and NC State, the momentum swung away from BC in the second quarter. Notre Dame erupted for a 27-point quarter, leaving BC in the dust. Fighting Irish guard Dara Mabrey broke the Eagles defense with her shooting. She hit two three-pointers, a tough and-one, and a pair of free throws. She scored 11 of her 21 points in the second period. Mabrey and Destinee Walker also seemed to penetrate the Eagles’ zone at will, the two guards drove and kicked passes out to wide-open shooters. Mikayla Vaughn and Maddie Westfeld also dominated inside with a lethal high-low game. The Irish ended the quarter on an 11-2 run and led 41-33 at the half.
Once again, the Eagles’ halftime adjustments were extremely effective. Marnelle Garraud, who sat out the final minutes of the first half with two fouls, came out of the locker room swinging for the fences. She connected on three consecutive three pointers in the first three minutes of the second half. Less than a minute later, after a Garraud steal, Makayla Dickens drained a three pointer from almost thirty feet away to tie the game. The Eagles kept pace with the Irish for the rest of the quarter, with Soule scoring another huge layup in transition with less than a minute remaining. After a huge third quarter, BC was only down two.
Notre Dame didn’t buckle under the pressure, though. Even as the Eagles applied their signature 1-2-1-1 full-court press, Niele Ivy’s team did not break. Destinee Walker, one of the most experienced players on the Notre Dame roster scored ten points in the fourth quarter. Notre Dame forced BC into long contested shots and a few ugly pull-up jumpers. After securing the rebound, Walker raced up the floor time after time to either score a basket or draw another foul. She and Maddie Westfeld turned it on with Mikayla Vaughn on the bench. The Eagles just couldn’t stop them. Notre Dame went on an 11-2 run before Coach McNamee called a timeout. After the break, Notre Dame maintained a comfortable lead until the buzzer sounded. They finished with a ten-point victory, 83-73.
The Eagles now drop to 5-7 overall and 1-7 in ACC play. Last season, they went 11-7 in conference games. Boston College, a team that was projected to finish in the top half of the ACC, is now playing like the worst team in the league. In their losses, they have surrendered an average of 41 points in the paint. Coach McNamee needs to rally her players and work out their issues if they would like to finish above .500.