Boston College downs Notre Dame women with furious comeback

Tribune Staff Report
ND Insider

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — Ferociously rallying Boston College outscored Notre Dame 16-1 over the final three minutes to grab an astonishing 64-61 comeback victory against the Irish in women’s college basketball Thursday night at Conte Forum.

“Super disappointed in the way we finished that game,” ND coach Niele Ivey said. “Obviously, a great win for Boston College. They fought the entire game and fought the last three minutes. I thought we lost that game with our effort, I thought we lost it with lack of discipline, lack of leadership on the floor. Very disappointed in that.”

Notre Dame (5-5, 3-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) coughed up six turnovers over the final 2:41 — including a pair of shot-clock violations down the stretch — committed nine across the last 8:24 and finished with 23 for the game.

The Eagles (5-4, 1-4) “bothered us” with their press, according to Ivey, who added that the shot-clock violations were perhaps even more frustrating.

“We’ve been working on late shot clock for a long time,” Ivey said. “I thought we had it down, (but) I think we lost our composure. I think that was the biggest thing. We lost our composure, so instead of making the easy play, I think we were very flustered, and I think that’s a credit to their defense. … It’s something we’re gonna fix.”

ND led 58-44 midway through the fourth quarter and was still up 60-48 before Makayla Dickens’ ignited BC’s closing surge with a 3-pointer at 2:35 to go.

She quickly added a steal that Marnelle Garraud converted into a triple, before Garraud made a takeaway that led to a Dickens basket, and Garraud drained another trey to pull the hosts to within 60-59 at 1:47 to go.

At 52 seconds left, Mikki Vaughn made 1-of-2 free throws for Notre Dame’s only point over the final 3:29.

After a Taylor Soule free throw closed the Eagles to 61-60, the Irish committed their second shot-clock violation of the final 1:10, with 16 seconds remaining.

Cameron Swartz then scored on a layup at 10.9 seconds left for BC’s first lead since 14-13 late in the first quarter, before Maddy Westbeld missed a jumper at three seconds to go for the Irish, and Dickens hit two free throws with a half-second left for the final count.

Soule scored a game-high 21 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds for the Eagles. Dickens added all of her 15 points over the final 17 minutes, while Garraud finished with 11 points.

Dickens, Garraud and Swartz pilfered three steals apiece among the 13 BC snatched as a team. The visitors had six.

Vaughn paced Notre Dame with 12 points. Anaya Peoples added 10 points and a game-high nine rebounds. That duo went a combined 10-of-13 from the field, but the rest of the Irish were just 9-of-35.

ND’s Sam Brunelle sat out all of the fourth quarter after taking an apparently inadvertent shot to the head. Ivey said Brunelle remained with the trainer following the game, and no further update was available.

Notre Dame’s next two scheduled games — Sunday at Syracuse and Thursday at home against Pittsburgh — were postponed earlier this week, meaning that unless the Irish move up or add a game in the meantime, their next contest will also be against BC, at noon on Sunday, Jan. 17.

Boston College 64, Notre Dame 61

NOTRE DAME (5-5): Westbeld 2-8 4-4 8, Vaughn 5-6 2-4 12, Mabrey 2-7 3-4 7, Peoples 5-7 0-0 10, Prohaska 1-3 4-4 6, Brunelle 2-4 0-0 5, Walker 2-10 4-4 9, Hayes 0-3 4-6 4, Team 0-0 0-0 0, Totals 19-48 21-26 61

BOSTON COLLEGE (5-4): Ford 0-0 0-0 0, Soule 6-15 9-12 21, Dickens 5-13 2-2 15, Garraud 3-8 2-2 11, Swartz 2-10 2-2 7, VanTimmeren 0-4 0-0 0, Batts 3-3 0-2 6, Ivey 1-4 0-0 2, Lacey 1-5 0-0 2, Team 0-0 0-0 0, Totals 21-62 15-20 64

Notre Dame;21;18;11;11 — 61

Boston College;14;15;13;22 — 64

3-Point Goals—Notre Dame 2-10 (Westbeld 0-1, Mabrey 0-3, Brunelle 1-3, Walker 1-3), Boston College 7-29 (Dickens 3-9, Garraud 3-8, Swartz 1-6, Ivey 0-2, Lacey 0-4). Assists—Notre Dame 13 (Walker 4), Boston College 14 (Garraud 4). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Notre Dame 41 (Peoples 3-9), Boston College 32 (Soule 6-8). Total Fouls—Notre Dame 20, Boston College 25. Technical Fouls—None. A—0.

Notre Dame players huddle prior to a game last Sunday against Georgia Tech in South Bend. The Irish lost Thursday night at Boston College, 64-61, as the Eagles rallied from a 12-point deficit late in the game.