Three New England natives came up big to help Notre Dame get its first road win of the season. Pat Connaughton, Zach Auguste and Pat Knight combined to score 37 points in Notre Dame’s 73-69 win over Boston College Sunday night at Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill.
The Irish (14-12, 5-8 ACC) started 0-6 on the road, including 0-5 in ACC road games prior to Sunday’s victory over Boston College (6-19, 2-10).
Connaughton, who was just 3 of 10 from the field in last Tuesday’s double-overtime win over Clemson, hit his first four shots and scored nine of Notre Dame’s first 11 points. The Arlington, Mass native scored 11 of ND’s first 21 points, but went nearly 24 minutes before scoring again when he hit a pair of free throws with 5:38 remaining in the game. He finished with a team-high 17 points in his first college game back in his home state.
The Eagles were 6 of 9 from the floor to start the game and used an early 7-0 run to take an early 14-9 lead, but they made just four of their next 12 shots. The Irish swung around with an 8-2 run to go up 17-16 and later made seven straight shots from the floor at one point to go up 31-27 with 5:00 minutes to play in the first half.
The Fighting Irish led 38-35 at halftime. The 38 first-half points was the most points in the first 20 minutes of a game for the Irish since scoring 39 in the first half in a Jan. 19 win over Virginia Tech. Notre Dame had gone five straight games without breaking 30 points in the first half, but they have now done it twice in a row.
Auguste, a Marlborough, Mass native, scored six of his 10 points in the first half. He was a solid 4 of 6 from the floor to score in double digits for the third straight and in five of his last six games. Knight, who hails from Dixfield, Maine, hit 5 of 7 shots for 10 points. It was his first time in double figures since scoring 13 in the season-opener against Miami (OH) back on Nov. 8. Knight had a team-high nine rebounds as well.
After hitting those six treys in the first half, the Eagles were just 1 for 5 from behind the arc in the second half. BC’s only trey of the second half came with 18 seconds remaining. After starting 3 for 3 from long range they hit just 4 of 11 the rest of the way.
Eric Atkins hit 4 of 5 from 3-point range to finish with 16 points. V.J. Beachem and Steve Vasturia hit Notre Dame’s only other 3s of the night. They scored five and seven points, respectively.
Olivier Hanlan, who was a high school teammate of Auguste’s at the New Hampton School in New Hampshire, led three Eagles in double figures with a game-high 18 points.
Demetrius Jackson missed his second straight game for what Brey referred to last week as “poor academic decisions”, but ESPNU reported during the game that Brey indicated Jackson would be back with the team on Monday.
Notre Dame continues its current three-game road swing on Wednesday with a trip to Miami.