Irish knock Boston College from undefeated ranks

Published 3:33 pm Wednesday, February 9, 2005

By By ADAM PAYNE / Niles Daily Star
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Sophomore guard Colin Falls led the Irish to a 68 – 65 victory over previously undefeated Boston College on Tuesday night. The Park Ridge, Illinois native shot a lights-out 8 for 14 from the field, including 7 for 12 from 3-point range, as he willed Notre Dame to victory, leaving The Fighting Illini of Illinois as the nation's last remaining undefeated team.
The game started with poor shooting and sloppy play on the part of both teams until Louis Hinnant of Boston College hit a three to give the Eagles their first lead at 7-6. BC quickly proceeded to tack on 8 more as they went on an 11-0 run to lead 15-6 with five and a half minutes gone in the first half.
Colin Falls then hit the first of his seven treys to end the run and spark Notre Dame's own 12-2 spurt, giving the Irish the lead back at 18-17.
Boston College answered as Jared Dudley buried a three to give the Eagles back the lead. Notre Dame responded with another run, outscoring BC 12-3 in the next 4 minutes to take a 30-23 lead. Seniors Chris Thomas and Dennis Latimore led the charge.
The Eagles' Sean Marshall hit the game's first free throw with 6:19 remaining in the first half, completing a three-point play that brought BC to within 4 at 30-26.
The Irish held off the Eagles' charge towards halftime and entered the break with a 37 – 32 lead which was the result of their 53.6 percent shooting including 6 for 12 from behind the arc.
The second half started slowly until Thomas fed Junior guard Chris Quinn who charged in and laid it behind the airborne defender for Torin Francis who dunked it home. Colin Falls then hit his first second-half three at the 14:31 mark to give the Irish a 46-38 lead. Notre Dame quickly got the ball back and Thomas bounced it to Falls who aired out another three from the corner, hitting nothing but net.
The Joyce Athletic and Convocation Center rupted as Notre Dame took an 11-point lead, but number 4 Boston College wasn't about to lay down, netting the next 8 points to get within three.
Notre Dame held on and did not relinquish the lead for the rest of the game despite tenacious inside play by the visitors who gave away no easy rebounds. BC ended the game with 7 offensive rebounds to Notre Dame's 3, but it was the Irish's lights-out shooting that finally did the Eagles in.
Shooting 51 percent for the game and an unconscious 62.5 percent for three in the second half, the Irish did not cave in to BC's physical style of play. As the game wound down, the Eagles began to lose focus and started to bark at the referees as their undefeated season slipped from their grasp.
Notre Dame ended the game with 9 steals, including 4 from Latimore and 3 from Thomas who also had 19 points and 9 assists, but it was Colin Falls' four for six 3-point shooting in the second half that propelled the Irish to victory. Falls ended with a game-high 23 points as well as four rebounds. Torin Francis pulled down a team-high 8 boards.
The game ended as Boston College's Jermaine Watson nailed a meaningless three as time expired and Notre Dame won 68 – 65.