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Notre Dame Basketball

Notre Dame Fights, Falls Again...This Time To NC State

January 24, 2023

Well, at least the Notre Dame men’s basketball team hasn’t quit.

The Irish fought to come back multiple times against NC State in Raleigh on Tuesday night, but 15 turnovers were too much to overcome and they fell to the Wolf Pack

It was Notre Dame’s second straight loss since head coach Mike Brey announced this season will be his last on the sidelines for the Irish, dropping them to 9-12 overall and 1-9 in ACC play.

NC State improved to 16-5 overall and 6-4 in the league.

Jarkel Joiner led all scorers with 28 points while Cormac Ryan led the Irish with 19. JJ Starling chipped in with 18 while Marcus Hammond notched a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

The Irish came back from an 11-point first-half deficit to take a lead into the locker. They fought back multiple times in the second half.

Trailing by seven – 76-69 – with less than four minutes to play, the Irish cut it to three before Ryan missed his first three-point of the night, which would have tied it with 1:20 left to play.

That was Notre Dame’s final chance to tie the game. Dane Goodwin drained a meaningless three as time expired for the final margin.

The Irish turned the ball over 15 times, leading to 18 Wolf Pack points, while NC State turned it over just twice, leading to 0 points for Notre Dame.

Notre Dame started with a lead, but found itself needing to fight back midway through the first half.

The Irish took an early 10-6 lead behind three-pointers from Nate Laszewski and Ryan.

But the Wolf Pack responded with a 17-2 run, highlighted by a five-point possession and capped by a three-pointer from Joiner to give them a 25-14 advantage with 10:41 to play in the half. Laszewski picked up his third foul during the stretch and sat the rest of the half.

But Notre Dame fought back – Ryan nailed two more triples and Goodwin added one to highlight a 13-2 spurt that tied the game 27-27 with six minutes to play in the half.

The teams went back and forth a bit before two strong drives by Starling and Hammond, the latter an and-one, put the Irish up 36-31. They grew that lead to seven, 40-33, with 1:21 left in the half following four free throws from Ven-Allen Lubin and Trey Wertz.

Joiner finished the first half with a drive and finish just before the first half buzzer sounded to cut Notre Dame’s lead to 42-39 at intermission.

Joined led NC State with 16 points in the first half while Ryan and Hammond paced the Irish with nine apiece. Hammond also handed out three first-half assists while Lubin pulled down four rebounds in the first half.

With the Irish going the run after Laszewski picked up his third foul, Brey decided to stick with Lubin to start the second half. But a quick three by NC State’s Casey Morsell and a layup from Ernest Ross gave the Wolf Pack the lead before a Lubin dunk tied it.

The Irish went ahead on a jumper from Ryan, but Terquavion Smith ended an 0-for-8 start from the field with a three-pointer to jumpstart a 11-0 NC State run that saw the Wolf Pack go ahead 55-46.

Ryan scored five straight, including his fourth three-pointer, to bring the Irish to within four. Even when NC State stretched it back to seven on another Smith three, the Irish kept fighting and Starling’s driving layup cut the lead to two – 63-61 – with eight minutes to go, but turnovers and Joiner were too much to overcome.

Next up for Notre Dame is a home game against Louisville at noon on Saturday. At 2-17, the Cardinals have been even more disappointing the Irish this year and find themselves at the bottom of the ACC standings at 0-8.

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