NC State dropped its third consecutive ACC game on Saturday afternoon, this time an 77-57 decision to Louisville.
Both teams got off to poor shooting starts in the first half, but Louisville found its offense well before State. The Pack really struggled to run 43% three point shooter Ryan McMahon off the perimeter, and he contributed 18 of Louisville’s 41 first half points, all 18 of which came from beyond the arc. The Pack, meanwhile, had a hard time generating good looks against a well coached defense and trailed by 15 at the break.
Instead of wilting in the second half, State came out and made a serious run at a comeback. C.J. Bryce found his jumpshot again, hitting back to back threes as he led a Pack rally that trimmed the lead all the way to four. The senior guard was State’s leading scorer with 15 points.
The Pack as a whole found some of the shooting it had been searching for since the start of conference play during said run, but it couldn’t sustain its offense for the entirety of the second half. It scored two points over the final 9:45. Louisville, ultimately and unsurprisingly, was too much for an overmatched NC State team. The Cardinals ended the game on a 14-2 run to earn the 20 point victory.
Other than the 10 minute stretch of the second half, where State scored 29 of its 57 points, it was again pretty putrid offensively. The Pack was 32.8% from the field and 21.7% from three. Obviously that sucks really bad, and it’s probably just who State is at this point. The team cannot shoot, and its inability to consistently create dribble penetration isn’t helping anyone get good looks at the basket. The offense is bad, and it’s made worse by all the silly turnovers it is committing. The unforced errors are killing State, but so is the not making shots thing. State is going to need to string together some wins here if it wants to make the tournament