After having its four-game win streak snapped earlier this week, North Carolina State will aim to put a tally back in the victory column on Saturday when it travels to Louisville, Ky. to take on the Cardinals.
NC State (11-4, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) suffered its first ACC defeat of the season Wednesday, falling at home to rival No. 7 North Carolina. The Wolfpack trailed by just two points about midway through the second half, but the Tar Heels pulled away with a 19-4 run to win 67-54.
What especially hurt NC State was its poor 3-point shooting as the Wolfpack shot a season-worst 2-of-21 from deep, a 9.5 percent clip.
“We really never got going offensively. I thought our defense completely kept us in the game,” Wolfpack coach Kevin Keatts said. “We have to get back into the gym and figure it out. We have to get going. It’s going to be tough to beat anybody when we shoot the ball that bad.”
NC State had trouble scoring inside against the Tar Heels, too. Big man DJ Burns had just 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting and only two rebounds, both below his season averages.
Wolfpack leading scorer DJ Horne will aim to bounce back against Louisville (6-9, 1-3). He’s averaging 13.9 points per game, but finished with just six points against North Carolina on a season-worst 2-of-16 shooting.
It’s been a tough season for the Cardinals, but they have to be feeling pretty good after winning 80-71 at Miami on Wednesday. That victory for the Cardinals snapped a 22-game losing streak on the road, and Louisville did it against a team that went to the Final Four last year.
“For my players to go out and play as hard as they did, as together as they did — through adversity and all the doubt — and come out and play the way they did, I’m proud of them,” Cardinals coach Kenny Payne said. “(Miami) is one of the best offensive teams in the country, and the only way to beat them is to fight for 40 minutes and figure out what happens at the end.”
Key for Louisville in the triumph was a 26-point performance from Mike James. Brandon Huntley-Hatfield added 22 points and a team-high nine rebounds.
Louisville leads the all-time series against NC State, 14-12.
–Field Level Media
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