Mon, 08 Mar 2021

Notre Dame meets Boston College chasing first ACC win

Field Level Media
16 Jan 2021, 08:40 GMT+10

A pair of teams struggling in the Atlantic Coast Conference will meet when Boston College visits Notre Dame on Saturday afternoon at South Bend, Ind.

Boston College (3-9, 1-5 ACC) is looking to win back-to-back games for the first time this season after cruising to an 84-62 victory over Miami onTuesday night. That snapped a four-game skid for the Eagles and marked their most lopsided win of the season.

Notre Dame (3-8, 0-5) sits at the bottom of the conference standings and brings a four-game losing streak into Saturday's meeting. The Fighting Irish return home for the first time since Dec. 30.

In its latest setback, Notre Dame fell behind by as many as 24 points against No. 18 Virginia before losing 80-68.

"We're fighting," head coach Mike Brey said. "We're trying. We're not the most confident group. You can't be when you've played the teams we've played and just haven't been able to go in the locker room and celebrate.

"We're not real confident. You can't inject that in somebody. I loved that we fought and made it interesting."

Now comes a good chance, albeit not a guarantee, for Notre Dame to pick up its first ACC win. The Fighting Irish likely will lean on a veteran-laden roster led by top scorers Nate Laszewski (16.7 points per game), Prentiss Hubb (13.7) and Dane Goodwin (12.5).

Laszewski, who also leads the team with 7.8 rebounds per game, is shooting 63.4 percent from the field and 54.5 percent from 3-point range. That is significantly better than the team's averages of 44.4 percent and 36.5 percent, respectively.

Boston College will try to maintain its hot shooting after making a season-high 18 3-pointers in its win over Miami. Rich Kelly scored 27 points in the game while teammate Jay Heath finished with 25.

Kelly credited Heath with a big part of his success on offense.

"I think we played well off each other," Kelly said. "I know Jay got me a couple open looks early, and I tried to find him early, too. It's a lot easier when you've got a guy that good on the team with you."

Heath is the Eagles' leading scorer on the season with 13.5 points per game. Wynston Tabbs is not far behind with 13.3 points per game, while Kelly (11.1) and CJ Felder (9.7) rank third and fourth, respectively.

This will be the 37th all-time meeting between the programs. Notre Dame leads the series 25-11, including a 2-1 mark last season. Boston College's win on Dec. 7, 2020, ended a 13-game losing streak against the Fighting Irish.

Kelly said the Eagles' victory over Miami earlier in the week could give the team confidence going forward.

"I kind of like the story of the stonecutter where you keep tapping on that rock, and eventually the rock is going to break," Kelly said. "I feel like up until (the Miami game) it hadn't broken, and (then) it finally broke."

--Field Level Media

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