Feb. 23, 2017
By Leigh Torbin
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – On a night when the No. 5/4 Notre Dame women’s basketball team honored its seniors, Lindsay Allen turned in one of the better performances of her 141-game Irish career, netting a season-high 18 points and adding eight assists to pace the Irish (26-3, 14-1 ACC) to an 82-45 win over Boston College on Thursday night at Purcell Pavilion.
With the win, the Irish ensure themselves of at least a share of the regular season ACC championship. On Sunday against No. 8/11 Florida State, the Irish will shoot to win the ACC crown outright for the fourth consecutive year. By beating the Eagles (9-19, 2-13) Notre Dame is now 31-0 in home ACC games since joining the league, 61-2 in league play and 70-2 in ACC action including the tournament.
Allen’s eight assists matched Boston College’s team total on the night. Notre Dame’s stifling defense held the Eagles to 14 second-half points (seven in each quarter) on 9.4% shooting. The Irish stole the ball 15 times and forced 22 Eagle turnovers.
Erin Boley had 14 points off of the bench for Notre Dame, one shy of her young career high. Brianna Turner had 12 points and tied her career high with seven blocked shots. Arike Ogunbowale and Jackie Young each tallied 11 points with Young also chipping in eight rebounds.
Two Runs Seal Win
Notre Dame used two scoring runs to both open up a big, early lead and then pull away for the comfortable victory.
In the first quarter, the Eagles took a 7-2 lead before Notre Dame responded with a 17-2 run. After starting the game 1-of-6 from the floor, the Irish connected on 10 of their next 11 shots and eventually took a 26-14 edge back to their bench after 10 minutes of play. Lindsay Allen had six assists in the first quarter alone while six different players contributed to the scoring ledger.
Coming out of the media timeout with 4:51 left in the third quarter, Kailey Edwards hit the first of her two free throws for Boston College, making it a 53-38 game. Little did she know that it would be the last point scored by the Eagles until a free throw by Emma Guy with 4:42 left in the fourth quarter.
The Irish went on a 22-0 run over that 10:09 span. It marked the longest run since the Irish opened the Dec. 4 game against Valparaiso on a 26-0 tear. The Eagles were held without a field goal for a span of 14:42 between a Mariella Fasoula layup with 5:09 left in the third quarter and a Stephanie Jones triple with 27 seconds left in the game.
Another High-Scoring First Half
In each of Notre Dame’s last three home games, the Irish have taken charge of the game early at the offensive end. Tonight, Notre Dame scored 51 first half points. In its two previous home games, Feb. 6 vs. Louisville and Feb. 12 vs. Georgia Tech, the Irish scored 50 and 48 points, respectively.
The Irish have led at halftime in 25 of their 29 games this year and are 24-1 in those games. Notre Dame is 2-2 both when being tied and trailing after 20 minutes of play.
Notre Dame could have as many as three more games to play on its home floor but tonight was the opportunity for 8,376 fans to show their appreciation for seniors Lindsay Allen and Diamond Thompson. The tandem was honored in a pregame ceremony for their contributions to the program.
Allen and Thompson have seen the Irish go 132-9 over their time in South Bend, advancing to a pair of Final Fours, now claiming four regular season ACC title and a trio of ACC Tournament titles.
Although a senior in academic standing, Kristina Nelson still has a year of athletic eligibility as she missed the 2014-15 season due to a shoulder injury. She did not participate in Senior Night activities as, pending approval of the Faculty Board on Athletics, Nelson will return to the team to play next year as a graduate student.
Brianna Turner had seven blocks tonight, tying her career high, giving her 249 in her career and moving her into 11th place in ACC history ahead of the 245 by Dolores Bootz of Georgia Tech from 1985-88.
Lindsay Allen scored 18 points tonight, giving her 1,237 for the Irish, lifting her into 24th place in school history by surpassing the 1,233 by Mary Beth Schueth. Her eight assists tonight give her 210 on the year – eclipsing her previous season high of 205 in 2014-15, and ranking sixth in school history. She also moved to within 10 assists of breaking Mary Gavin’s school career record of 778 and is now 17 assists from eclipsing Virginia’s Sharnee Zoll’s ACC record of 785.
Green Machine Returns
Kelly green is supposed to bring luck to the Irish but the team had struggled in the green-emblazoned uniforms they bring out for bigger games, including postseason play. Notre Dame wore the green-trimmed white Under Armour uniforms tonight for Senior Night and shook off any rust the hue may have had in the convincing win. The Irish had oddly lost three straight games in green or green trim entering tonight, falling to Stanford in the 2016 Sweet 16, UConn on Dec. 7 and Tennessee on Jan. 16 when incorporating green into the uniform.
An outright ACC regular season championship and the top seed for the upcoming ACC Tournament all comes down to Sunday when No. 8/11 Florida State (25-4, 13-2 ACC) comes to Purcell Pavilion for a 1 p.m. game. ESPN2 will broadcast the game nationally with Beth Mowins and Debbie Antonelli on the call.
Leigh Torbin, athletics communications associate director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2013 and coordinates all media efforts for Notre Dame’s women’s basketball and men’s golf teams. A native of Framingham, Massachusetts, Torbin graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in sports management. He has previously worked full-time on the athletic communications staffs at Vanderbilt, Florida, Connecticut and UCF.