Notre Dame Basketball: Undermanned Irish Find A Way vs. BC

Notre Dame entered the game not only young but extremely undermanned as well. Still, the Irish made it work in a 69-66 win over Boston College.

Minutes before tip-off, Notre Dame learned that they would be down to six players as they searched for their first ACC win of the season.

Juwan Durham was ruled out after his previous ankle injury flared up. He’s expected to be a game-time decision for Tuesday’s contest with UNC. Also out was Temple Gibbs, who initially warmed up with the team. A flu-like illness would keep him in the locker room.

With one scholarship player on the bench and three freshmen in the starting lineup, things looked discouraging from an outside perspective.

From this inside, Mike Brey had his team ready to go despite what they were about to deal with. Prentiss Hubb stepped into his first three-pointer of the day and knocked it down.

If one man was going to step up, Hubb was ready to be called on. He looked comfortable and his confidence followed as his offensive game continued to click.

It was important for Hubb to have a game where things seemed to be clicking. He had to get past his recent struggles. But the man who took over the game and took advantage of Boston College was John Mooney.

There would have been a clear advantage for Notre Dame if Mooney and Juwan Durham were together, but Mooney was able to do it on his own.

Around the basket, there wasn’t an answer to stop him. The only chance Boston College had was to foul him, which they did. Mooney made sure the Eagles would regret that decision, shooting nine-of-nine from the line.

For the majority of the game, Notre Dame maintained a comfortable lead around ten points. For a second, Ky Bowman received some help from his teammates and all of a sudden the Eagles were within a few points.

That’s when D.J. Harvey pulled up and made his biggest shot of the day. The Irish ran with the momentum and broke off a 7-0 run.

The undermanned Irish couldn’t hold on to that consistency. Fatigue started to kick in and the Eagles did everything they could to pick up the pace and attack. What was once a game controlled by the Irish became a barnburner.

Notre Dame went cold. The offense couldn’t find a way to get the ball through the rim and Boston College wasn’t taking it easy. With the advantage laying in the hands of the Eagles, they were able to take a one-point lead with 8.2 seconds thanks to a fast break by Bowman.

While the Irish couldn’t buy a field goal, Hubb made the biggest play of the game by drawing a foul. His trip to the line would give the Irish the lead for the last time. With under a second left, Dane Goodwin knocked down two free throws of his own.

The Irish escaped with only six players for their first league win of the season. It’s critical that Notre Dame quickly gets healthy with a UNC matchup looming on Tuesday night.