Irish comeback falls short in road loss to Boston College
Observer Sports Staff | Tuesday, March 2, 2021
The Irish men’s basketball team suffered a disappointing 94-90 road loss this past weekend to Boston College (4-13, 2-9 ACC). The loss is the third straight for the Irish (6-10, 9-13 ACC), and it puts the Irish in fifth to last place in the ACC.
The Irish played from behind throughout the game and trailed 42-35 at halftime. The Eagles were able to build their seven point first-half advantage in part because of six Irish turnovers. The Eagles took better care of the ball throughout the game and did not have their first turnover until 16 minutes remained in the game. The Irish finished Saturday’s game with 11 total turnovers.
Although the Irish were able to cut into the Eagles’ lead in the second half, the comeback came up short despite the team scoring 55 points in the second half. Junior point guard Prentiss Hubb finished the game with 28 points, with 23 of those points coming in the second half.
The Eagles had a 74-62 lead with seven minutes to play, but three straight layups for the Irish cut the lead to six with just under six minutes to go. The Irish were then able to get within four with 48 seconds remaining after three consecutive missed free throws by the Eagles. However, the Eagles converted seven of their last eight attempts from the line to seal the game.
Scott Spinelli acted as the interim coach for the Eagles and recorded his first victory in his first game as a college coach. Although the Eagles had only won one game in the ACC prior to Saturday (against Miami in early January), they looked like a different team and brought a different energy under Spinelli on Saturday to secure the victory.
Defense was an issue for the Irish all game, as they allowed the Eagles to shoot 47.4% from the three-point line and convert a staggering 23 free throws over the course of the game. The Irish also had foul trouble, with five players finishing the game on four personal fouls.
In addition to Hubb’s 28 points, the Irish had five other players in the double digits with junior Trey Wertz finishing with 17, junior Dane Goodwin with 13, graduate student Juwan Durham with 12 and junior Nate Laszewski with 10.
With the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) likely not happening this season, the Irish’s only path to the postseason appears to be winning the ACC Tournament, which will take place Mar. 9-13 in Greensboro, N.C.
The Irish have two regular season games remaining on the schedule against North Carolina State and 11th-ranked Florida State. Both games will be played at Purcell Pavilion.