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NC State holds off late Notre Dame run to beat Irish, 69-65

Syndication: HawkCentral Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK

What a difference a couple weeks can make, huh. NC State won its third straight league game on Sunday, knocking off the first-place Fighting Irish 69-65, and all the sudden it feels like State is back on track.

NC State played great in the middle 20 minutes of this one to outscore Notre Dame by 19 over that span, and Diamond Johnson played a great second half to help close this one out.

Four Factors

... NC State Notre Dame
... NC State Notre Dame
eFG% 50.8 42.6
TO% 18.7 20.1
OR% 23.5 41.9
FTR 16.7 16.2

Pace and Efficiency

Notre Dame 65 69 94.2 100.0
NC State 69 69 100.0 94.2

State took a double-digit lead into the fourth quarter, but the Irish did what good teams do and put together a rally that nearly brought them all the way back. It was an 11-0 Notre Dame run that pulled it to within three points with four minutes left.

Johnson made a couple of big plays after that, the first one a beatiful dish to Jada Boyd for a layup in transition to put the Pack back up six; the second a critical jumper that put State up four points with 2:20 left.

Johnson was not about to let her team succumb to one poor quarter after playing so well for the bulk of the afternoon. She had the response her team needed in those nervy moments late.

Mimi Collins also had a nice afternoon and her team needed it—River Baldwin made her return, but only saw five minutes of playing time. Collins scored 13 points on 6-8 shooting and had seven in the third quarter as the Pack pushed out to lead by as many as 16. NC State shot 6-10 from three in that period.

Notre Dame really didn’t shoot well after the first quarter, but the Irish gave themselves a lot of second-chance opportunities and nearly did enough to steal this one as the Wolfpack got sloppy with the ball down the stretch.

The win improved NC State to 6-4 in ACC play and put the Pack into a sixth-place tie, but only two games out of first. Plenty of time to make a move.