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Notre Dame Men’s Basketball: Irish Lose Again, Falling at NC State 85 to 82

ND put up quite a fight, but once again didn’t have the firepower or defensive ability down the stretch to pull out the W

Notre Dame v NC State Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish men’s basketball team lost for the 10th time in 12 games this evening, losing to the NC State Wolfpack in Raleigh on Tuesday night by a final score of 85-82.

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.

Notre Dame v NC State Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

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.

Notre Dame v NC State Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

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.

Notre Dame v NC State Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

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.