InsideNDSports - Notre Dame needs overtime to avoid another bad loss to Boston College
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Notre Dame needs overtime to avoid another bad loss to Boston College

Notre Dame guard Prentiss Hubb, left, scored the last six Irish points in overtime to secure a 99-95 win over Boston College.
Notre Dame guard Prentiss Hubb, left, scored the last six Irish points in overtime to secure a 99-95 win over Boston College. (Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports)

Notre Dame men's basketball better hope it doesn't run into Boston College in the ACC Tournament.

The Eagles remained a thorn in the side of the Irish on Wednesday night in South Bend, but they didn't have enough to complete their second victory over Notre Dame this season.

The Irish (19-7, 12-3 ACC) escaped the evening in Purcell Pavilion with a 99-95 overtime win over Boston College (9-15, 4-10).

"That's a heck of a league win, man," said Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey. "And I knew it was going to be hard."

Senior guard Prentiss Hubb made sure the Irish closed out what would have been another ugly loss on Notre Dame's NCAA Tournament résumé. He scored the last six points for Notre Dame in the final 10 seconds after the Irish led by only one point.

Hubb's final four points came on free throws, the first of which were set up when he stole a Boston College inbounds pass.

Notre Dame needed a late comeback just to force overtime against Boston College. The Eagles led for most of the second half. Notre Dame regained the lead near the midway point of the half and led by as many five points with 8:15 remaining, but a Boston College run followed.

The Eagles led by five with 3:52 left before the Irish rallied with free throws. Seven of Notre Dame's final 11 points in regulation came at the charity stripe. Freshman guard Blake Wesley's layup with 13 seconds remaining gave Notre Dame a two-point lead. Only for the Irish to watch it wiped a way with a fast-break layup by Makai Ashton-Langford five seconds later.

The improved defense Notre Dame has displayed throughout its successful run in conference play wasn't featured Wednesday night. Boston College finished 35-of-64 (56.3%) from the field and 10-of-23 (43.5%) from 3. The 86 points scored in regulation by Boston College were the most allowed by Notre Dame this season.

Boston College's offense picked on Notre Dame's defenders by driving to the basket to create scoring opportunities.

"We had a hard time handling that and rotating at times," Brey said. "I don't know if we were as focused defensively, maybe, tonight as we have been."

After Boston College, who beat Notre Dame 73-57 on Dec. 3 in Chestnut Hill, Mass., scored 43 points in the first half on 60.7% shooting, Brey knew the Irish were going to have to turn up the pace offensively. Notre Dame took four more shots and five more free throws in the second half following a four-point halftime deficit.

Notre Dame's aggressiveness on offense resulted in three Eagles fouling out.

"We just said at halftime: 'Man, let's just play,'" Brey said. "We're going to have to score tonight. We played a little faster that way and got into a pretty good rhythm."

Notre Dame, who moved back into a tie with No. 9 Duke for first place in the ACC, likely won't be able to afford a shaky performance defensively on Saturday when it travels to Wake Forest (1 p.m. on Regional Sports Networks). The Demon Deacons (20-7, 10-6) average 78.4 points per game and were ranked No. 11 in Div. I through Tuesday with a field-goal percentage of 48.7.

Four Boston College guards scored at least 17 points against Notre Dame: DeMarr Langford (23), Jaeden Zackery (18), Brevin Galloway (17) and Ashton-Langford (17).

Notre Dame countered with all five starters logging at least 12 points and senior forward Nate Laszewski adding 16 points in 32 minutes of the bench. Fellow forward Paul Atkinson Jr. managed 13 points and five rebounds despite being limited to 21 minutes due to foul trouble.

Senior guard Dane Goodwin led Notre Dame's offense with 23 points include four 3-pointers. Wesley added 18 points with 10 coming in the second half.



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