Farrell scores 37 as Notre Dame beats Boston College, 84-67
BOSTON (AP) — Matt Farrell once dreamed of playing basketball for the Eagles.
The 6-foot-1 guard had committed to Boston College as a senior at Point Pleasant Beach High in New Jersey, but his plans changed when the school fired Steve Donahue as its basketball coach in 2014. Farrell instead wound up at Notre Dame.
On Saturday, he gave the Eagles a taste of what they’ve been missing, scoring 26 of his career-high 37 points in the opening half and making a school-record 10 3-pointers with seven assists to help Notre Dame beat Boston College 84-67.
“I really liked (Donahue) and unfortunately (he) got fired,” Farrell said. “After that, I opened up my recruitment and ended up here, and I can’t complain.”
Farrell, in just the first half, nearly matched his previous career high of 28 points set against Florida State last Saturday. He made all eight of his first-half 3s and finished 10 for 23, eclipsing his old high of six made 3s against the Seminoles.
“It’s one of the great performances in a Notre Dame uniform,” Fighting Irish coach Mike Brey said.
TJ Gibbs finished with 15 points and Martinas Geben added 12 as Notre Dame (16-11, 6-8 Atlantic Coast Conference) won for the third time in four games.
Jerome Robinson scored 29, Nik Popovic had 15 points and 11 rebounds and Ky Bowman added 13 points to lead Boston College (16-11, 6-8). The Eagles’ last win against the Fighting Irish came on Feb. 4, 2004, when both teams were members of the Big East.
“We’ve got to grow from it. Nobody feels sorry for you in this league,” Eagles coach Jim Christian said.
Notre Dame leading scorer Bonzie Colson missed his 13th straight game with a left foot injury.
Farrell hit seven threes and had 20 points during a 31-14 Notre Dame surge that put the visitors up by 20 with six minutes left in the first half. Notre Dame was up 46-30 at halftime and led by as many as 26 early in the second.
Boston College got the lead down to nine after that, but came no closer.
“There was no giving up for our team,” Robinson said. “So we were definitely going to battle back, and we’ve battled back before, so it was the same story.”
Notre Dame: With Colson sidelined, wins have been elusive for a Fighting Irish team that had lost eight of 10 coming in. But the Fighting Irish are in good position to finish strong after their recent hot streak. “We’re fighting and scratching and trying to stay alive in this thing,” Brey said.
Boston College: The Eagles’ hopes of an at-large NCAA Tournament bid took a hit after having won three of four, and now they’ll play three of their last four away from home. “We know the road’s going to be tough, but we know we can be right back in the hunt if we get some road wins,” Robinson said.
Colson is a native of nearby New Bedford, Mass. and his father was an assistant at Boston College. His injury kept him sidelined for his final college game in his home state, but his teammates helped make it memorable.
“Bonzie Colson loves playing here, so we really wanted to get this one for him,” Farrell said.
Robinson scored a career-high 46 points on 15-of-23 shooting in his last game against Notre Dame on Feb. 6, which was tied for the second highest single-game point total in school history. On Saturday, the Raleigh, N.C. native had 17 fewer points on 11-of-15 shooting.
“I don’t know how he got off Tobacco Road, but BC did a heck of a job getting him up here,” Brey said.
Notre Dame: Hosts Miami on Monday before playing two out of their final three regular-season games away from Edmund P. Joyce Center.
Boston College: The Eagles hope to salvage their season Tuesday at N.C. State.