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Notre Dame Men’s Basketball: Fighting Irish Lose to NC State 80-69 - Quick Recap

Too little too late...

NCAA Basketball: N.C. State at Notre Dame
Mar 3, 2021; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish forward Nate Laszewski (14) grabs a rebound in the second half against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at the Purcell Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

I’m not sure where the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Men’s Basketball season went, but here we are at the second to last game of the regular season. My how time flies. Tonight, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish faced the NC State Wolfpack at Purcell Pavilion, Notre Dame, IN. How did the Irish fare against the Wolfpack? Lets have a look!

The Irish got on the board first with a Juwan Durham dunk, assisted by Prentiss Hubb; but the Wolfpack wasted no time in responding with a Manny Bates dunk, assisted by DJ Funderburk. And then the Wolfpack stepped on the gas, scoring three consecutive buckets to go up 9-2. The Irish finally snapped the NC State 9-0 run with a jumper from Durham (Durham has all the Irish points so far), NC State up 11-4.

Prentiss Hubb got his first basket at 15:07, which cut the lead to five, and then on the subsequent NC State possession the Wolfpack turned the ball over, and Trey Wertz got his first points of the game with a layup. (11-8, NC State) And then on a Goodwin rebound, Hubb made a three-point shot to tie the game (11-11). Hubb had the hot hand for the Irish up to this point, scoring six of the last eight points. Headed into the media break at 11:30, the Irish were down by three, 15-12.

At 10:20, both teams were in a scoring drought, both shooting 1-for-6, but NC State broke the scoring lull with a three-point jumper by Jericole Hellems. Notre Dame answered with a Durham dunk, followed by a Cormac Ryan jumper and a Dayne Goodwin layup, and the Irish were only down by two. (20-18 NC State)

At the media timeout (with 6:21 left in the half), NC State was up by four, 25-21. Coming out of the break, Nikola Djogo got his first points of the game on a three-point jumper, and the Irish were doing their best to keep the game as close as they could. And then the Wolfpack stepped back on the gas, increasing their lead to ten, 34-24.

At this point in the game, the Irish have missed ten layups and have seven turnovers. Not exactly what you need to be doing in order to win games. As the final minutes of the half ran out the Irish couldn’t seem to close the gap, and headed into the locker room down by eight, 40-32.

First Half Stats:

Field Goal %: ND: 35.3% NC State: 54.5%

Three-Point %: ND: 36.4% NC State: 36,4%

Turnovers: ND: 7 NC State: 5

Rebounds: ND: 21 NC State: 17

As the second half began, the Wolfpack scored first on a Cam Hayes free throw, but the Irish get right back into the mix with a Nate Laszewski three-point shot. Dereon Seabron responded with a three-point shot of his own and the Wolfpack were up by nine, 44-35.

With 15:46 left in the half, the Wolfpack took their largest lead on a Manny Bates dunk (48-36), and the Irish can’t seem to get anything going, suffering from a three minute scoring drought. Trey Wertz broke the Irish drought with a three-point shot, and the Irish headed into the media timeout down by nine (48-39).

Notre Dame just couldn’t seem to a get a scoring run together tonight. With 13;59 remaining in the half the Wolfpack took their biggest lead of the game, up by 17, on a Braxton Beverly three-point jumper. (56-39) Dayne Goodwin responded with a two-point jumper, but the Irish just couldn’t seem the shrink the gap. At the 11:51 media timeout the Irish were down by twelve, 58-46.

Nikola Djogo sunk a layup at 9:36, and the Irish continued to try and fight their way back, down by fourteen (62-48). They needed to string together a couple of stops and a couple of buckets to get this game back on track. Hubb then sunk a three at 8:33, and the score was 64-51, NC State.

With seven minutes left in the game, down 69-53, it wasn’t looking like the Irish had what was needed to mount a comeback. The Wolfpack had the hot hand all night, and it looked as if they were going to head into the ACC tournament on a five game win streak.

But, with 1:20 left in the half, the Irish had a 12-0 scoring streak, along with two missed NC State shots in a row, and the Irish showed some signs of life. 76-69 NC State. But was it too little too late?

The Wolfpack responded with a DJ Funderburk dunk, and the score was 78-69 NC State. As the final minute ticked off, it was too little too late.

The Irish lose their second to last regular season game by a score of 80-69, and their record is 9-14 heading into their final game of the regular season.

End of Game Stats:

Field Goal %: ND: 37.5% NC State: 54.1%

Three-Point %: ND: 34.5% NC State: 39.1%

Turnovers: ND: 11 NC State: 9

Rebounds: ND: 42 NC State: 38

The last regular season game for the Irish will be on Saturday, March 6th, vs. Florida State, at Noon ET.

Cheers & GO IRISH!