CHESTNUT HILL, Massachusetts (Ticker) -- Notre Dame coach Mike Brey will enjoy the big game on Sunday.
Matt Carroll had a key four-point play in overtime as 12th-ranked Notre Dame completed a successful trip through New England with a 101-96 Big East Conference victory over Boston College.
Chris Thomas scored 28 points and Carroll 18 for the Fighting Irish (16-3, 4-1 Big East West), who won at Providence on Tuesday night. The three-game road stretch began with a loss at Kentucky last weekend.
"I can watch the Super Bowl tomorrow with a free mind before looking forward to West Virginia (on Wednesday)," Brey said. "I was frustrated that we could not win in regulation. When the road team doesn't get it in regulation, I do not know what the stats are, sometimes the momentum swings to the home team."
Carroll made sure the momentum went Notre Dame's way. Notre Dame was clinging to an 84-83 lead halfway through the overtime when Carroll sank a 3-pointer and was fouled by Ryan Sidney.
"That is a big play, especially in overtime," Carroll said. "That is a two-possession play. It is not often that happens."
"We just made a poor decision at the time not to be closer to the shooter," Boston College coach Al Skinner said.
Carroll sank the free throw, beginning an 8-2 spurt that gave the Fighting Irish a 92-85 cushion with 1:40 left. Thomas sank a pair of free throws and scored on a fast-break layup to cap the run.
The Eagles got no closer than four the rest of the way, cutting the lead to 96-92 on a 3-pointer by Andrew Bryant with 29 seconds left.
"We feel very fortunate to come out here and get two wins this past week in New England," Thomas said.
Troy Bell had 31 points for the second straight game for the Eagles (8-8, 1-4 East), who lost for the sixth time in eight games.
The Eagles fell to 5-4 at home, including losses to Northeastern and Providence.
"We are resilient and have a lot of fight," Skinner said. "We need to make sure we put it together for 40 minutes."
Notre Dame had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation, but Thomas was unable to get off a good shot and missed the rim in the final seconds.
The Fighting Irish fell one point shy of their season high set in a 102-71 win over DePaul on December 14.
Dan Miller had 16 points, freshman Torin Francis 15 and Jordan Cornette added 11 rebounds for Notre Dame, which equaled its best start since the 1980-81 team also won 16 of its first 19 games.
Francis, a local product out of Tabor Academy, played in front of friends and family. Francis is a teammate of BC guard Jermaine Watson.
Miller and freshman Chris Quinn each had 10 points to help Notre Dame take a 47-37 halftime lead. But the Eagles scored the first 11 points of the second half, including seven by Bell, to take their first lead since the opening minutes.
Thomas scored 25 points after intermission. His 3-pointer with 7:23 left in the second quarter gave the Irish a 71-65 lead.
The Eagles chipped away and finally tied it at 82-82 on a pair of free throws with 26 seconds left in regulation.
The Fighting Irish went to the line 17 times in the extra session, hitting 11.