Irish shoot down BC’s upset bid

Notre Dame shot an incredible 75 percent from the field in the second half, missing just six shots over the final 20 minutes. The Irish dominated the bench scoring, 30-5, led by Bonzie Colson’s 16 points and V.J. Beachem’s 10.

No. 10 Notre Dame (24-4, 12-3) took Boston College’s best shot, and then shot the lights out of Conte Forum en route to an 87-70 victory over the Eagles Saturday afternoon.

Six Irish players scored in double figures with 30 points coming from the bench as Notre Dame turned a four-point lead early in the second half into a 21-point lead 11 minutes later.

The Irish converted 17-of-29 shots in the first half (.586) and 18-of-24 in the second half (.750) to finish at 66.0 percent for the game. Notre Dame also made 7-of-13 from three-point range (.538) and 10-of-12 from the free-throw line (.833). The Irish are 37-of-40 from the line in the last two games combined.

“That’s the best we’ve played offensively in a while,” said Irish head coach Mike Brey. “I’m really pleased with our efficiency.”

Freshman Bonzie Colson led the way with 16 points on 8-of-9 shooting from the field and sophomore V.J. Beachem tossed in 10 points off the bench to record his second straight double-digit scoring output.

Jerian Grant was brilliant once again, scoring 10 points and handing out 11 assists to become the first Irish player since Chris Thomas in December of 2002 to put up double-digit assists in back-to-back games.

Demetrius Jackson (15 points), Zach Auguste (14) and Steve Vasturia (10) rounded out the six double-digit scorers.

The Irish have now 24 games in a season for the 11th time in their history, six of which have come with Brey at the helm. It also raised Notre Dame’s ACC road record to 6-2, which is the most road wins in a season in conference play since the Irish joined the Big East in 1995-96.

Behind the solid play of Aaron Brown (22 points), Dennis Clifford (17 points on 7-of-10 shooting), and the explosive Oliver Hanlan (19 points), the Eagles trailed by just five at halftime and by four early in the second half when the Irish unleashed their attack.

Notre Dame scored 42 points over the final 15:24 and 50 in the second half.

Notre Dame’s lead reached double digits with 11:47 remaining and never dipped to single digits again. The Irish led by 21 with 4:13 remaining before keeping Boston College at arm’s length the rest of the way.

The Irish got a huge spark from Colson and Beachem off the bench in the first half, leading the Irish to a 17-0 scoring advantage from its subs and a 30-5 scoring dominance for the game.

Boston College (9-17, 1-13) also shot well, converting 49.1 percent of its shots. But it wasn’t nearly enough against the Irish in the second half. Notre Dame missed just six shots over the final 20 minutes.

The Eagles are now 0-10 when the opposition scores at least 70 points. Notre Dame’s 87 points comes on the heels of an 88-point outburst against Wake Forest four days earlier.

Notre Dame featured three Boston area players on the trip to Chestnut Hill -- Colson, Auguste and Pat Connaughton, who had a quiet eight points and four rebounds.

The big-man tandem of Auguste and Colson gave the Irish 30 points on 14-of-19 shooting with 13 rebounds.

The Irish will enter their sixth straight week in the AP top 10 and host Syracuse Tuesday night at Purcell Pavilion, where the Irish are 16-1 on the season and 6-1 in ACC play.


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