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Notre Dame Men’s Basketball Quick Recap: Fighting Irish 52 - Wolfpack 54

The Irish Can’t Hang On - Lose Late to the Wolfpack

NCAA Basketball: N.C. State at Notre Dame
Jan 3, 2024; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard Markus Burton (3) dribbles as North Carolina State Wolfpack forward DJ Burns, Jr. (30) defends in the first half at the Purcell Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame took on the NC State Wolfpack at home at Purcell Pavilion. Headed into the matchup the momentum advantage was in favor of the Irish after their win over Virginia. Notre Dame led the series vs the Wolfpack 10-9 heading into tonight’s game, and the last four meetings between the two teams have been decided by single digits. How did the Irish fare against the Wolfpack tonight? Let’s have a look!

First Half

Notre Dame got on the board first on a Tae Davis layup, assisted by Markus Burton. This was followed by a three point jumper by Burton and just like that Notre Dame was up 5-0. At 17:30 NC State answered with a jump shot by DJ Horne. Notre Dame quickly answered with a Burton layup, followed by a jumper by NC State’s Casey Morsell.

Notre Dame had the threes falling early with a second three point shot, this time sunk by Tae Davis. At the 15:42 media break, Notre Dame was up 12-4.

Both teams had a scoring drought for the next three minutes until the Wolf Pack fouled the Irish and sent Kebba Njie to the line who made both of his foul shots. On the next NC State possession Ben Middlebrooks got his first points of the game on a layup. 14-6 Notre Dame, 11:54 media break.

Middlebrooks turned the ball over after the break and Notre Dame converted it into points on a Logan Imes layup. Middlebrooks missed a jumper and on the next possession Notre Dame added to their lead on a Davis layup.

Njie fouled DJ Burns Jr who went to the line and made one of his two free throw shots. DJ Horne made a three point jumper, followed by a Burton turnover and a big Dennis Parker Jr. dunk, which cut the lead to six. 18-12, Notre Dame.

Booth missed a three point shot but NC State couldn’t get any points on their next possession. Casey Morsell fouled Kebba Njie who went to the line and made both of his free throw shots. NC State couldn’t get any points on their next possession, and at the other end Notre Dame’s J.R. Konieczny was wide open and made three point jumper. At the 7:05 media timeout ND was up by 11 points, 23-12.

After the break Burns Jr got a layup to sink. On the next Notre Dame possession Burton got a three point shot to sink. NC State’s Jayden Taylor got his first points of the game on a driving layup, and Notre Dame’s lead was at 10 points, 26-16.

DJ Burns got the next points on a jumper, and NC State seemed to be settling in. Tae Davis turned the ball over on the next Notre Dame possession, and Kam Woods made a quick layup to cut the lead to six points. Notre Dame timeout, at 3:56. 26-20, Notre Dame.

After the timeout Notre Dame turned the ball over again (sixth time) but the Wolfpack wasn’t able to get points out of the possession. After a missed Burton jumper, Taylor got his jumper to sink. Burton missed his three point shot, Morsell missed his layup, and then Braeden Shrewsberry made his 21st three-point shot of the year. 29-22, Notre Dame.

Burton fouled Taylor who went to the line and made one of his two foul shots. Burton turned the ball over, which was stolen by Middelebrooks but NC State couldn’t turn the possession into points. Notre Dame’s Matt Zone then sank a three-point shot, which was quickly answered by NC State with a Middlebrooks three point shot. The final points of the half came from a Carey Booth layup, and at the half Notre Dame was up 34-26.

Second Half

The Irish got the ball first but couldn’t get any points on their first possession, but neither could the Wolfpack on theirs. Burton got a sneaky, cat-like layup to fall, and the lead was at 10. Burns Jr fouled Booth, who made one of his two free throw shots. Dennis Parker Jr got his second dunk of the game, and Notre Dame’s lead was at nine, 37-28.

Burns Jr got a layup to go in, and on Notre Dame’s next possession J.R. Konieczny missed his three point shot. Following the 15:49 media timeout Taylor made two foul shots from the line which cut the ND lead to five. Burton was fouled by DJ Horne and at the foul line Burton made both of his free throw shots. Burton’s next layup was his 14th point of the game and Notre Dame’s lead was up to nine, 41-32.

Casey Morsell made a jumper at 12:35 and on the next ND possession Imes turned the ball over. Michael O’Connell missed a jumper, and at the other end Matt Zona sank a three point shot. 11:24 media timeout, Notre Dame up by ten points, 44-34.

Coming out of the break NC State’s Casey Morsell went to the line and made one of his two foul shots. NC State turned the ball over and Matt Zone stole the ball but ND couldn’t convert the possession into points.

ND’s next points came on a layup under the basket by Julian Roper II. DJ Horne fouled Markus Burton who missed his foul shot. J.R. Konieczny then fouled Mohamed Diarra who went to the line and made both of his foul shots.

DJ Burns made a left hand layup to cut ND’s lead to seven. Davis missed his three point jumper and NC State got the rebound. Carey Booth fouls Mohamed Diarra who goes to the line and makes both of his free throw shots. Notre Dame’s lead is five, 46-41. (5:40)

Davis missed a jumper but ND got the rebound. The next jumper by Burton sank beautifully and NC State’s Jayden Taylor responded with a three point shot. Notre Dame’s lead now four.

Burton made a beautiful jumper to increase ND’s lead to six. NC State turned the ball over on their next possession but Burton missed a jumper at the other end. Julian Roper II fouled Middlebrooks who made both of his foul shots, to shrink the ND lead to four points. Konieczny made a jumper, to which NC State quickly answered with a Morsell layup. ND lead still at four. 52-48 with 1:58 to go.

Burton lost the ball on a bad dribble and NC State got the ball with 1:26 left in the game. Konieczny fouled Taylor who went to the line and made both of his fouls shots. Notre Dame’s lead is now down to two.

Casey Morsell fouled Davis who missed his first shot and O’Connell snatches the rebound. Taylor put up a shot to get the lead but missed. Notre Dame got the ball with 38 seconds left in the game and five seconds in Konieczny called a timeout, which seemed to have perplexed Coach Shrewsberry. ND then got called for traveling and the ball goes back to NC State. (26 seconds remaining.)

With the crowd on their feet DJ Burns sank a layup and the game is tied. Jayden Taylor fouled Julian Roper II who went to the line and missed the foul shot. NC State secured the rebound and called a timeout with three seconds left in the game.

NC State inbounded the ball, DJ Burns Jr sank his layup, and the Irish lost by two points.

Final score, 54-52.

Next up for the Fighting Irish is Duke, at home at Purcell Pavilion, at 6pm ET, on the ACC Network.

Cheers & GO IRISH!