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Louisville 77, NC State 72: Wolfpack's late rally not enough to down Cardinals

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Box Score

Four Factors NC State
eFG% 42.6 57.0
Turnover Rate 15.2
Off Reb Rate 44.2 37.5
FT Rate 50.8 33.3

77 66 116.7 109.1
NC State
72 66 109.1 116.7

NC State trailed by 16 with under four minutes remaining and somehow managed to claw back within three in the waning seconds, but Louisville got one final clutch stop and hit some clutch free throws to give it the 77-72 win. Cat Barber again led all NC State scorers with 20 points.

The Wolfpack rallied from double-digit deficits at the end of both halves, but did not sustain enough consistent offense against the Cardinals' tough zone. The Pack was in danger of getting buried early in the first half thanks to a horrific start from the field. State avoided an early knockout with a strong final four minutes to trim Louisville's lead from 11 to five at the break.

While the Wolfpack managed to cut the deficit to one possession on several occasions over the final 20 minutes, Louisville always found an answer to prevent State from jumping out in front.

The Cardinals shot 57% (eFG%) to NC State's 42.6%, which ultimately was the difference. State won the battle of the boards, got to the free throw line 12 more times, and finished +1 in turnovers. But you gotta make shots, man.

Barber needed 22 attempts from the field to score his 20, and he was only 1-7 from three; this was not a night State could afford Cat to go cold from outside. Caleb Martin and Maverick Rowan shot well from three in the second half to aid the team's rally, but a slow start on both of their parts helped put the Pack in the hole it never could completely escape.

With the loss, NC State falls to 10-5 (0-2). Three of the next four are on the road.