Thornton’s 19 points help Eagles end losing streak to Irish

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Derryck Thornton had 19 points and Jay Heath had 16 points with the help of four 3-pointers as visiting Boston College ended a four-game losing streak with a 73-72 Atlantic Coast Conference victory over Notre Dame on Saturday.

T.J. Gibbs, who was held scoreless in a 72-51 loss at No. 3 Maryland on Wednesday night, led the Fighting Irish with a game-high 22 points, 18 in the second half, but missed the first of two free throws that could have tied the game with 2.9 seconds remaining. He made the second but Dane Goodwin’s 50-footer to win missed the basket at the buzzer.

It also was the Eagles’ first victory over the Fighting Irish after 13 straight defeats dating back to Feb. 8, 2005 when both teams were members of the Big East Conference. Jared Hamilton added 13 points for Boston College.

Jim Christian’s Eagles (5-5) moved to 2-0 in the ACC with torrid first-half shooting against Mike Brey’s Irish (6-3), who lost their second straight and fell to 0-2 in the ACC despite the sixth double-double of the season by John Mooney (16 points, 18 rebounds).

Boston College hit 12 of its first 16 shots and forced nine of Notre Dame’s 11 first-half turnovers to take a 12-point lead, 31-19, with 8:21 remaining in the first half.

The Eagles then went 3-of-11 shooting the rest of the way but led 38-28 at halftime as the Irish matched their poor ball handling with 38% shooting (11 of 29). Heath, who was 4-of-6 shooting including 3-for-3 on 3-pointers, and Thornton, who hit 5 of 6 shots, each had 11 points.

Boston College, which led by as many as 13 points, finished the game shooting 49%, while holding the Irish to 40% and forcing 15 turnovers.

The Irish got the lead down to six at 54-48 on Gibbs’ 3-pointer with 12:30 left in regulation. Then after a media timeout, the Eagles built the lead back to double digits, 59-48, on CJ Felder’s 3-pointer with 9:51 remaining.

Julian Rishwain then hit a 3-pointer from the wing to put B.C. up 62-50 and Brey called a timeout with 8:43 remaining. The Irish went 6:27 without a field goal before Prentiss Hubb hit a 3-pointer to close the deficit to 66-59 with 6:07 left.

Juwan Durham hit a reverse laying with 1:08 left to pull the Irish back to 70-67. But after a B.C. timeout with 54.7 seconds remaining, Heath buried his fourth 3-pointer over Notre Dame’s Rex Pflueger to give B.C. breathing room with 36 seconds remaining at 73-67.

BIG PICTURE

Boston College: The Eagles looked nothing like the team that had lost five of their last six, including 82-64 to Northwestern at home in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge last Tuesday. Their hawking defense and their first-half shooting (56%), including 6 of 10 from 3-point land, were impressive.

Notre Dame: The Irish, who entered the game averaging just 9.5 turnovers per game (second nationally), committed 11 in the first 20 minutes and they again struggled from the floor as they did in their 72-51 loss at No. 3 Maryland Wednesday in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Reserve guard Dane Goodwin had an open look on a 3-pointer late in the first half and threw up an airball that summed up things.

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