Matt Cashore /

Irish Take Care Of Business At Home

Putting the emotions of senior night aside, Notre Dame used defense and two big runs to upend Boston College, 82-45, on Thursday.

Despite sluggish starts to the first and third quarters, the No. 4-ranked Irish kept pulling farther away from the Eagles. Seniors Lindsay Allen and Diamond Thompson helped pave the way.

Not surprisingly, Allen paced the team with a season-high 18 points to go with six rebounds and eight assists. Erin Boley (14 points), Brianna Turner (12), Arike Ogunbowale (11) and Jackie Young (11) also hit double figures. Despite not scoring a point, Thompson - getting her first start in an Irish uniform - grabbed a career-high six rebounds to go with two steals and a block.

With the victory, the Irish (26-3, 14-1) are guaranteed at least a share of the regular-season ACC title with Florida State, who will visit South Bend on Sunday for the final regular-season game.

Boston College (9-19, 2-13) shot a dismal 25.4 percent for the game, including just 5-of-17 from beyond the arc. Mariella Fasoula was the only double-digit scorer with 14 points, while the next closest was Taylor Ortlepp with eight.

The Eagles jumped out to a quick 7-2 lead before the Irish went on their first run, a 17-2 spurt that pulled Notre Dame ahead for the remainder of the game. Three-pointers by Boley and Ogunbowale put the Irish up 26-14 at the end of the first period.

That lead swelled to 51-31 by halftime.

Between the third and fourth periods, the Irish used a 22-0 run over the span of 10 minutes to put the Eagles away for good. Notre Dame increased its cushion to 28 points at the end of three quarters, and then 37 for the final margin of victory. During the final two periods, Boston College was held without a field goal for a span of almost 15 minutes, starting halfway through the third quarter and ending with a trey with 27 seconds left in the game.

The advantage allowed Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw the luxury of not having to play Kathryn Westbeld (ankle) and pulling her starters early,
Allen in particular now that Ali Patberg is healthy again.

“I thought Diamond played really well, it was great to see her out there and Lindsay of course continues to play well, lead the team and do everything we need her to do,” McGraw said. “It’s always an emotional night because you’re thinking back and wondering where the time went so quickly. I’m just so thankful they were here to let me share the journey with them.

“Now it’s good going into the next game (against Florida State) knowing that we control our own destiny, and we have to take care of business.”

A victory over the No. 8-ranked Seminoles on Sunday would give Notre Dame its fourth-consecutive outright ACC regular-season championship and the top seed in the upcoming league tournament. Tip-off for the nationally televised contest is set for 1 p.m. Top Stories