Matt Farrell ties record, sparks Irish win at Boston College, 84-67
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — Matt Farrell once dreamed of playing basketball for the Eagles.
The 6-foot-1 guard had committed to Boston College as a senior at Point Pleasant Beach High in New Jersey, but his plans changed when the school fired basketball coach Steve Donahue in 2014. Farrell instead wound up at Notre Dame.
On Saturday, he gave the Eagles a taste of what they've been missing, scoring 26 of his career-high 37 points in the opening half and making a school-record-tying 10 3-pointers (Kyle McAlarney had 10 in a 2008 game) with seven assists to help Notre Dame beat Boston College 84-67.
Farrell, in just the first half, nearly matched his previous career high of 28 points set against Florida State last Saturday. He made all eight of his first-half 3s and finished 10 for 23, eclipsing his old high of six made 3s against the Seminoles.
"It's one of the great performances in a Notre Dame uniform," Fighting Irish coach Mike Brey said.
TJ Gibbs finished with 15 points and Martinas Geben added 12 as Notre Dame (16-11, 6-8 Atlantic Coast Conference) won for the third time in four games.
Jerome Robinson scored 29, Nik Popovic had 15 points and 11 rebounds and Ky Bowman added 13 points to lead Boston College (16-11, 6-8). The Eagles' last win against the Fighting Irish came on Feb. 4, 2004, when both teams were members of the Big East.
"We've got to grow from it. Nobody feels sorry for you in this league," Eagles coach Jim Christian said.
Notre Dame leading scorer Bonzie Colson missed his 13th straight game with a left foot injury and starter Rex Pflueger left the game with 14:20 remaining with an apparent back injury.
Farrell hit seven threes and had 20 points during a 31-14 Notre Dame surge that put the visitors up by 20 with six minutes left in the first half. Notre Dame was up 46-30 at halftime and led by as many as 26 early in the second.
Boston College got the lead down to nine after that, but came no closer.
"There was no giving up for our team," Robinson said. "So we were definitely going to battle back, and we've battled back before, so it was the same story."
Saturday was supposed to be the day that Notre Dame freshman swingman D.J. Harvey returned to the rotation after missing seven games with a bone bruise to his left knee.
Instead of getting back on the court for a game for the first time since Jan. 16, Harvey did not play against Boston College as originally planned. Harvey apparently reinjured his left during Friday night's practice at Conte Forum.
Harvey was moving laterally during the workout when he re-injured the knee.
"He's just not ready yet," Irish coach Mike Brey said during the Irish pre-game radio broadcast. "We've got to sit on that for a while. Maybe we get him back in a week."
Harvey suffered the non-contact injury in the first half of the Jan. 16 double-overtime loss to Louisville. He returned to practice this week and was said to have done well Thursday before the setback.
He was expected to come off the bench and play 18-20 minutes. Harvey is averaging 5.8 points and 2.9 rebounds in 19 games.
Colson is a native of nearby New Bedford, Mass., and his father was an assistant at Boston College. His injury kept him sidelined for his final college game in his home state, but his teammates helped make it memorable.
"Bonzie Colson loves playing here, so we really wanted to get this one for him," Farrell said.
Robinson scored a career-high 46 points on 15-of-23 shooting in his last game against Notre Dame on Feb. 6, which was tied for the second highest single-game point total in school history. On Saturday, the Raleigh, N.C. native had 17 fewer points on 11-of-15 shooting.
"I don't know how he got off Tobacco Road, but BC did a heck of a job getting him up here," Brey said.
Notre Dame: Hosts Miami on Monday before playing two out of their final three regular-season games away from Edmund P. Joyce Center.
Boston College: The Eagles hope to salvage their season Tuesday at N.C. State.
NOTRE DAME (16-11): Mooney 1-4 2-2 4, Geben 6-8 0-0 12, Gibbs 6-10 1-2 15, Farrell 12-17 3-4 37, Pflueger 1-5 0-0 3, Torres 1-1 0-0 2, Burns 1-1 0-0 2, Nelligan 0-0 0-0 0, Djogo 3-3 2-3 9. Totals 31-49 8-11 84.
BOSTON COLLEGE (16-11): Popovic 5-9 4-4 15, Mitchell 1-3 2-3 4, Robinson 11-15 2-2 29, Bowman 5-14 2-3 13, Chatman 2-11 0-0 4, Kraljevic 0-1 0-0 0, Baker 0-1 0-0 0, Reyes 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 25-56 10-12 67.
Halftime--Notre Dame 46-30. 3-Point Goals--Notre Dame 14-23 (Farrell 10-12, Gibbs 2-4, Djogo 1-1, Pflueger 1-3, Mooney 0-3), Boston College 7-21 (Robinson 5-8, Popovic 1-1, Bowman 1-3, Baker 0-1, Mitchell 0-1, Chatman 0-7). Fouled Out--None. Rebounds--Notre Dame 23 (Mooney 7), Boston College 25 (Popovic 11). Assists--Notre Dame 16 (Farrell 7), Boston College 10 (Robinson, Chatman 3). Total Fouls--Notre Dame 11, Boston College 11.