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Hubb’s Late Free Throws Help Push Notre Dame Past Boston College, 69-66

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Freshman guard Prentiss Hubb hit a pair of free throws with less than three second remaining to secure the victory for the Irish. (Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports)

A pair of free throws from freshman guard Prentiss Hubb with less than three seconds remaining pushed Notre Dame to a 69-66 win over Boston College.

The Irish led by double digits with around eight minutes to go, but the Eagles eventually took the lead with less than 20 seconds remaining before Hubb got to the bucket and was fouled.

Blue & Gold Illustrated recaps the Irish win half by half.

FIRST HALF

Head coach Mike Brey and company had to go back to the drawing board against the Eagles with junior guard T.J. Gibbs falling ill before the game and missing the contest and junior forward Juwan Durham out as well with an ankle injury.

Freshmen Dane Goodwin and Nate Laszewski got the starting nod along with Hubb, sophomore wing D.J. Harvey and junior forward John Mooney.

Hubb opened the scoring with a three-pointer before Boston College responded with a 6-2 run to take an early 6-5 lead. Mooney hit a tough baseline jumper to retake the lead for Notre Dame at 7-6 going into the under-16 media timeout.

Boston College star guard Ky Bowman started to heat up over the next few minutes knocking down two three-pointers. But the Irish freshmen continued to play well with Laszewski finishing with a dunk in transition off a nice feed from Hubb.

Junior guard Nik Djogo followed with a strong offensive rebound, which led to another three-pointer from Hubb to tie the game at 12 with 11:48 left.

Hubb’s triple was the start of an eventual 10-0 run to push the Irish lead to 19-12 following a dunk by Mooney and another three-pointer from Hubb. Bowman and forward Jairus Hamilton combined for a 7-2 run to close to Notre Dame lead back to 21-19 with 6:43 remaining.

Another dunk from Mooney and layup by Hubb off an offensive rebound helped the Irish maintain a lead at 25-22 with 3:18 left in the opening half.

Mooney and Harvey combined for four free throws to extend the advantage to 29-22 with just more than a minute remaining. Notre Dame eventually went into the break with a 31-25 lead behind 11 points, four rebounds and three assists from Hubb. Mooney added 10 points and six rebounds to aid the efforts.

Notre Dame connected on 11 of 31 field goals (35.5 percent) in the opening half, including 3 of 15 (20.0 percent) behind the arc.

Bowman was the lone Boston College scorer more than four points, tallying 12 points and seven rebounds.

SECOND HALF

Boston College closed the Irish lead to three points in the opening two minutes behind a three-pointer from guard Wynston Tabbs and five points via big man Nik Popovic.

But Mooney came alive going on a personal 5-0 run, which included an and-one conversion on a layup.

Laszewski would soon follow with an and-one opportunity of his own, which Mooney came right behind with a tough hook shot to force a Boston College timeout with the Irish leading 46-35 with 15:29 remaining.

Mooney continued his strong play following Laszewski’s three-point play with a jumper and tough three-point shot while guarded to put his team up 49-35. Boston College responded with a 5-0 run to get back within 10 points at 49-40 going into the under-12 media timeout (11:54).

Bowman would go on another run, scoring five straight points for the Eagles to close the Irish lead to 51-47.

Notre Dame responded with a 7-0 run behind a jumper from Harvey and nice sequence for Goodwin, who connected on a triple and a tough layup to spark the Irish faithful in Purcell Pavilion. Goodwin’s buckets put Notre Dame back up 11 at 58-47 with 8:18 remaining.

Boston College wouldn’t go away though countering with an 8-0 run to force a timeout from Brey after getting back within one possession at 58-55 with 5:23 left.

The Irish led 60-57 after Popovic recorded another bucket in the paint. Notre Dame got deep into the shot clock on the next possession, but Hubb and Mooney played a nice two-man game that eventually left Mooney open on the wing for a three-pointer and a career-high 27 points. The bucket put the Irish up 63-57 with 4:15 remaining.

The Eagles cut the Notre Dame advantage to 63-62 after a three-pointer from Jordan Chatman and Hamilton. Laszewski hit a pair of free throws to make it a three-point game, but Popovic responded quickly with another bucket. Notre Dame led 65-64 with 1:53 left.

A turnover by the Irish with about 20 seconds remaining led to a breakaway layup for Bowman to give Boston College a 66-65 lead with 15 seconds to go. Notre Dame almost followed with another when Mooney was blocked in the paint, but the Irish were able to regain possession when Popovic was called for a travel with 8.2 seconds left.

Hubb found himself with the ball in his hands after the inbounds and drove straight to the hoop. The freshman was fouled and headed to the line with a chance to take the lead with 2.6 seconds left.

Hubb calmly hit both free throws to put his team back up 67-66 with 2.6 seconds left. Boston College threw a deep pass on the inbounds but was not able to come up with it before Goodwin grabbed the ball and was fouled with 0.2 seconds.

Though it wouldn’t have mattered for the outcome, Goodwin nailed both of his attempts for a 69-66 win for the Irish.

Mooney (27) and Hubb (16) finished with career highs in points to help Notre Dame pull off the tough win. Mooney added 12 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the year while Hubb added six rebounds and five assists, to go with his game-winning free throws.

Harvey and Goodwin had nine points apiece while Laszewski wound up with eight to round out all Irish scorers.

Notre Dame shot 34.4 percent for the game (21 of 61) and 26.9 percent (7 of 26) behind the arc. Boston College finished the second half at 51.6 percent (16-of-31) to almost steal a win from the Irish. The Eagles shot 40.0 percent (26 of 65) for the contest.

Bowman led Jim Christian’s group with 24 points and 16 rebounds. Popovic added 15 points and 10 rebounds and Tabbs notched 13 points.

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