ND looks to sweep eagles
Matthew DeFranks | Thursday, February 13, 2014
Notre Dame will try again to earn its first road win of the season when it heads to Boston College on Sunday.
The Irish (13-12, 4-8 ACC) are 0-6 on the road and have only one win away from Purcell Pavilion — a December neutral-site win over Indiana in Indianapolis.The Irish have been competitive in their road contests, though, losing their ACC road games by an average of 5.6 points. Notre Dame’s largest road loss was an eight-point loss to Maryland.
“Every one of them, we’ve had our chances on the road, which has been frustrating,” Irish coach Mike Brey said.
Notre Dame beat the Eagles (6-18, 2-9) less than two weeks ago behind senior guard Eric Atkins’ 24 points and game-winning 3-pointer with one second left in overtime. Atkins’ three lifted the Irish to a 76-73 win.
Irish junior guard/forward Pat Connaughton added 17 points while sophomore forward Zach Auguste and freshman forward V.J. Beachem each scored 10.
Eagles junior forward Ryan Anderson led Boston College with 21 points and six rebounds but the Irish held leading scorer sophomore guard Olivier Hanlan to just five points on 2-for-5 shooting.
Hanlan averages 18.1 points per game after earning ACC Freshman of the Year honors a season ago.
In the first game against Boston College, Brey said the Irish defended the 3-point line well. The Eagles connected on 7 of 21 of their 3-pointers.
“We did a heck of a job here controlling the 3-point arc,” Brey said. “They didn’t crush us from there. They are the best 3-point shooting team in the league. … You have to guard the arc.”
Boston College is currently eighth in the ACC with a field-goal percentage of 35.0 from beyond the 3-point line.
While the Irish will be searching for their first road win, they will also be looking for their first winning streak of 2014. Notre Dame has not won consecutive games since beating Canisius (Dec. 29) and Duke (Jan. 4). The Irish beat Clemson 68-64 in double-overtime Tuesday night.
“1-1 weeks ain’t bad for this team right now, but let’s try and be greedy and get a 2-0 week,” Brey said.
Brey did not say whether freshman guard Demetrius Jackson would play on Sunday. Brey benched Jackson for the win over Clemson because Jackson needed to work on his academic habits, and the freshman was not in attendance for the win.
“We’re not giving Demetrius updates,” Brey said. “He’ll be back when he’s ready to be back and we’ll cut him loose.”
Jackson averages 6.1 points and 23.3 minutes per game.
Graduate student center Garrick Sherman will still be able to play despite his broken finger, according to Brey. Brey said there was a chip in the bone but it did not require surgery to put a pin in Sherman’s finger.
“It’ll be a little uncomfortable but he’ll be able to play with it,” Brey said. “We’re fortunate that we dodged a bullet of surgically having to put a pin in there.”
Sherman is second in the ACC in field goal percentage (51.6 percent) and averages 14.3 points and 7.9 rebounds per game.
Brey said sophomore forward Eric Katenda has been shut down indefinitely because of a knee injury. He has played in two games this season.
Contact Matthew DeFranks at [email protected]