The Irish were led on the night by Cormac Ryan, who scored 19 points and had 4 rebounds while shooting 6-for-8 from the field (5/6 from three-point range). J.J. Starling had a really nice game as well, scoring 18 points and grabbing 7 rebounds while shooting 7-of-14 from the floor.
Fellow freshman Ven-Allen Lubin had himself a very nice game too, scoring 10 points and snagging 5 rebounds in just 22 minutes of play. Marcus Hammond had a double-double (11 points, 10 rebounds) and Dane Goodwin chipped in 11 points and 5 rebounds as well.
As a team, Notre Dame shot 52% from the field and 43% from long range while decidedly winning the rebounding battle 41-32. Unfortunately, the Irish also committed 15 turnovers while forcing only 2 turnovers from NC State, which drove a significant portion of the final margin.
The Wolfpack were paced in scoring by Jarkel Joiner (28 points, 6 rebounds) and Terquavion Smith (17 points, 6 assists). D.J. Burns Jr. (14 points, 4 rebounds) and Casey Morsell (11 points, 3 rebounds) contributed nicely to the victory as well, and NC State shot 41% from the floor and 30% from three-point range.
In the first half the two teams started out pretty even, but then NC State went on a massive 17-2 run to grab an 11-point lead roughly 9 minutes into the action. The Irish refused to be daunted or give up there, though, using a cold spell from the Wolfpack and some hot shooting from the likes of Ryan, Hammond, and others to orchestrate a 26-8 run of their own over the next 10 minutes, building a 7-point lead of their own with just over a minute left in the half.
NC State had an answer in the form of Jarkel Joiner, though, as the senior chipped in a couple baskets that included a layup just before the buzzer to make it a 3-point Irish lead at halftime.
After the intermission, NC State came out FIRING, going on an 11-0 run to once again seize a commanding lead at 55-46 roughly 6 minutes into the half. The Irish once again responded, though, immediately beginning to chip away at the deficit and pulling within 4 points on a Cormac Ryan three-pointer. From there, NC State spent some time extending their lead to 6-7 points only to have Notre Dame cut it right back down to ~4 points. That happened a few times over the next few minutes.
With just under 9 minutes to go, Dane Goodwin hit the 4th shot in 4 attempts by the Irish, draining a three-pointer to cut the deficit to two points, 61-59. NC State couldn’t push their lead above 4 points for the subsequent stretch of basketball, with ND clawing their way within 2 points multiple times and then pulling within 1 on a three from Ryan that he got to completely die on the back of the rim and fall through with under 5 minutes to play.
The Irish once again couldn’t get a stop when it mattered, though, allowing NC State’s D.J. Burns to snag a loose ball and kick it out for yet another NC State three, providing some breathing room and helping them grow a 7-point lead at the 3:34 mark.
Goodwin would respond with a mid-range turnaround jumper, and then after an ND stop, an ND turnover, and Jarkel Joiner missing a wide open, fast break dunk, J.J. Starling was able to draw a foul on a drive to the hoop and knock down a couple free throws to make it 76-73 with 1:53 to play.
Unfortunately from there, the Irish couldn’t get the points or the stops to get any closer or even to claw their way back to a one-possession game, with Burns bullying Laszewski for a basket down low to extend the lead, Hammond missing two free throws, and the Wolfpack guards taking care of their own business at the charity stripe. NC State finished 23-of-27 from the line as a team.
After a lot of fouling and some garbage-time buckets (including a buzzer-beater three-pointer from Goodwin), the Wolfpack were able to walk off the court with a three-point victory to continue to send Notre Dame sliding.
With the loss, the Irish fall to 9-12 on the season (1-9 ACC). They will play next on Saturday at 12 PM ET, when they will host the 2-17 (0-8) Louisville Cardinals at Purcell Pavilion in a battle that very well could decide the ACC’s second-to-last-place title.