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NC State picks up crucial win at Louisville, 74-65

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Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Box Score

Four Factors NC State
Louisville
eFG% 50.0 38.5
Turnover Rate 12.1
7.5
Off Reb Rate 33.3 24.4
FT Rate 48.3 39.3

Pts Poss OFF_EFF DEF_EFF
Louisville
65 66 98.5 112.1
NC State
74 66 112.1 98.5

What a second half for NC State, at an absolutely desperate time. NC State scored 44 points over the final 20 minutes against Louisville, and that was enough to fend off a cold-shooting Louisville team, 74-65. Cat Barber led all scorers with 21 points.

Barber was really good for the full 40 minutes, forcing Louisville to compensate defensively in ways that opened up opportunities for others. Cat finished 5-15 from the field, but he also hit 10-13 from the line and drew all sorts of attention as it became clear that Louisville couldn't keep him out of the paint.

Sometimes Barber doesn't play with great vision at the point, but this was not one of those days: he knew that he could get past the initial defender, and rather than force too many shots in the face of an uncaring officiating crew, found his bigs for some easy opportunities.

Trevor Lacey and Ralston Turner also scored in double figures, and both hit some big shots. They were frustrated by the Louisville defense at times but found enough openings to give the team key baskets when they were needed. As State extended its lead in the second half, it was nice to see Turner reclaim some confidence.

On the defensive end, the Pack rebounded well and let the Cardinals bury themselves with poor shooting inside the arc. Montrezl Harrell finished 1-5 from the field and scored only seven points. A fantastic collective effort inside by the Wolfpack.

And now they're right back in the bubble conversation. Welcome back, basketball team, you aren't dead yet.