BOSTON — It wasn’t easy, but Notre Dame pulled out its first road victory of the season Sunday.
Guard Pat Connaughton, one of two Fighting Irish starters who hail from the Boston area, scored six consecutive points for his team late and finished with 17, helping Notre Dame to a 73-69 Atlantic Coast Conference victory over Boston College.
The win, the first in the Irish’s seven true road games this season, was the second straight overall for Notre Dame (14-12, 5-8 ACC).
Boston College suffered its latest tough defeat. The Eagles (6-19, 2-10) dropped their fifth in a row and fell for the eighth time in nine games.
The Fighting Irish built a nine-point lead midway through the second half and then held off every Boston College charge. The Eagles’ last run cut the lead to three in the closing seconds, but two free throws by center Garrick Sherman helped the Irish prevail despite allowing Boston College guard Patrick Heckmann to score six points in the final 18 seconds.
Notre Dame guard Eric Atkins scored 16 points, and forward Zach Auguste, the visitors’ other local product, had 10 for the Irish, who swept the two-game season series from Boston College.
Connaughton hails from Arlington, Mass., while Auguste is from Marlborough, Mass.
Guards Olivier Hanlan and Joe Rahon led the Eagles with 18 and 13 points, respectively, while forward Ryan Anderson had 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Anderson scored 21 in Notre Dame’s 76-73 overtime win over Boston College on Feb. 1.
Connaughton, averaging 13.1 points per game coming in, scored nine straight points for his team in the opening six minutes, when Boston College built a five-point lead. The game became a see-saw affair before the Irish, who got two 3-pointers in a two-minute span from Atkins, went on a 7-0 burst to give Notre Dame a 33-27 lead with 4:17 left in the first half.
Hanlan scored on a drive with four seconds left in the half, which ended with Notre Dame up by three.
NOTES: Boston College observed a moment of silence before the game for long-time basketball sports information director Dick Kelley, who lost his battle with ALS. Flags outside Conte Forum were at half-staff and all BC athletic teams are wearing “DK” on their uniforms. The BC coaches also wore “DK.” … Notre Dame continues a three-game road trip at Miami on Wednesday night, while Boston College plays at No. 1 Syracuse the same night. The Eagles led the Orange by eight points with 15:52 remaining Jan. 13 before losing by 10. … The Eagles welcomed back all-time leading scorer Dana Barros, while former football start Alex Amidon, who recently finished as the school’s all-time leading receiver, was honored by football coach Steve Addazio at halftime.
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