Sports, Basketball, Women's Basketball

No. 5 Notre Dame Crushes Eagles In New Year’s Day Blowout

Despite Notre Dame’s status as perennial NCAA championship contenders, Boston College women’s basketball has held the upper hand in the Holy War in recent years. Before Sunday’s matinee matchup against the No. 5 Fighting Irish, the Eagles had won four of their last six contests against Notre Dame. 

In the Holy War’s latest battle, however, Notre Dame (12–1, 3–0 Atlantic Coast) made quick work of BC, defeating the Eagles (11–5, 1–2) by a final score of 85–48. 

Scoring its first points in five seconds, Notre Dame raced to an early 7–0 lead, taking advantage of two BC turnovers. The Eagles struggled to finish at the rim, while the Fighting Irish coasted to easy transition baskets. 

BC head coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee burned her first timeout with her team facing a 16–4 deficit just five minutes into the contest.  

BC’s offensive woes persisted after the timeout, as the Eagles only mustered four more points over the frame’s remaining five minutes, entering the second quarter in a deep 17-point hole. 

In an error-ridden opening quarter, the Eagles registered seven turnovers and eight points.

The contest continued to resemble a Notre Dame layup line in the second quarter, with the Fighting Irish capitalizing in transition off sloppy BC ball security and shot selection. Via a 13–0 Notre Dame run, the Eagles’ deficit ballooned to 33 points in the quarter’s waning minutes and through the end of the first half. 

Two of BC’s starters—JoJo Lacey and Taina Mair—entered the locker room at halftime with three fouls. 

Though BC’s defense struggled as a whole in the first half—surrendering 49 points in the first 20 minutes—center Maria Gakdeng was one of the unit’s few bright spots, notching five blocks and three steals. 

The Eagles cleaned up their offense in the third quarter and only turned the ball over twice, leading to an 8–0 BC run to end the frame. With 17 third-quarter points, BC nearly put up more points than it did in the entire first half, outscoring Notre Dame by five points in the quarter. 

BC’s improved ball security carried over into the fourth quarter, but the Eagles’ third-quarter shooting did not. With BC’s shooters cooled down, the Fighting Irish pushed its lead up to 39 points with 3:22 left to play and cruised to victory.   

Sophomore Andrea Daley was BC’s lone offensive silver lining, scoring 17 points on 8-of-14 shooting.

January 1, 2023