Sports, Winter, Basketball, Men's Basketball

Eagles’ 3-Point Shooting, Post’s 29 Points Send BC Over Notre Dame

Just four days after hitting zero 3-pointers for an entire game, Boston College men’s basketball wasted no time making up for lost time against Notre Dame on Saturday. The Eagles made 11 total 3-pointers, seven in the first half, and three in the first four minutes of the game to help snap their four-game losing streak. 

“We shot a lot over the last few days, which we always do,” BC head coach Earl Grant said. “We did tell the guys they’re gonna pack it in a lot with their zone so we’re gonna have to be shot ready and look to take some perimeter shots.”

Grant’s gameplan to take more shots worked, and BC’s season-high 11 made 3-pointers helped lead it to an 84–72 win over the Fighting Irish (9–11, 1–8 Atlantic Coast) and complete its season sweep of Notre Dame. The Eagles were led by Quinten Post who scored three early triples and finished the game with a career-high 29 points, four 3-pointers, and 14 rebounds. 

“Our goal was to play inside out and get the ball around the basket, drive it, post it,” Grant said. “Try to score inside, try to get to the free throw line, try to get layups and then as they continue to contract, then we could try to hit some of those inside out threes.” 

Saturday marked the Eagles’ (9–11, 3–6) highest-scoring game of the season and the first time BC has defeated Notre Dame twice in a season since 1997.

“For the players, for them to be able to say they played on the team that was able to sweep a team for the first time in almost 20 years—that’s a part of their legacy,” Grant said. 

But it wasn’t always smooth sailing for the Eagles in South Bend on Saturday, as Notre Dame never let the game get out of reach. Nate Laszewski registered 29 points for the Fighting Irish, including seven 3-pointers. Yet the Eagles were able to flip the switch from their recent late-game collapses and started the second half with a 13–0 run, which catapulted them to victory. 

“We’ve been coming so close in some of our games, coming up short at the end,” Grant said. “It was just nice to see the guys try to play a complete game and get over the hump.”

The Eagles’ run started late in the first half, as they outscored Notre Dame 10–3 in the final three minutes of the half. Makai Ashton-Langford nailed back-to-back 3-pointers to lead the charge. Ashton-Langford finished the game with 20 points and notched his 1,000th career point in the win. 

“They were in there cheering for me and throwing water on me and stuff in the locker room as soon as they found out,” Ashton-Langford said. “My dad had told me we were 14 points away after last game and I totally forgot about that this game, and I think that kind of helped me.”

Combined, the two runs resulted in a 23–3 BC surge, putting the Eagles ahead 45–35 with 15:52 left in the game. 

Notre Dame, however, clawed back with an 8–0 run of its own that featured two Laszewski 3-pointers.  

But Quinten Post notched his fourth and final 3-pointer of the night, and scored the game’s next four points to put the Eagles up 72–68. The Eagles consistently rotated the ball to Post amid the Fighting Irish’s zone defense. Post either found himself with space to shoot or an opportunity to use his 7-foot frame to drive to the basket. 

“I think against the zone, we just kind of were looking for me in the cracks of the zone, trying to play from there,” Post said. “It wasn’t really the game plan beforehand. It was just kind of what was working at that point.”

Post missed the first 13 games of the season with a foot injury. Ever since his return on Jan. 1, the Eagles have tried leaning on Post, but getting back into game shape proved a lengthy task. Grant, however, shriveled down his rotation Saturday—playing only eight players—and Post shined in his 30 minutes of action as the focal point of the offense. 

“He was terrific,” Grant said. “Nice to see him come back, find his rhythm.”

Ashton-Langford nailed a deep 3-pointer with 1:56 left in the game—the Eagles’ 11th of the game—to put BC up eight and secure the victory in South Bend.

“We’re capable of shooting threes,” Grant said. “It’s a make miss game. And you can’t always control if you’re gonna make all your shots. But you can control effort and attitude and boxing out of contested shots.”

January 22, 2023