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NC State shows some much-needed fight in rallying past Notre Dame for 73-68 win

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The Pack improves to 2-2 in ACC play.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: NOV 23 Arkansas-Little Rock at NC State Photo by John McCreary/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

What, me worry? I mean, it had only been a game with 30+ minutes of mostly bad news. No problem at all, my friends, never a doubt at all that NC State would erase a seven-point deficit down the stretch and ease ahead for a critical win over Notre Dame.

Factors

Four Factors NC State Notre Dame
Four Factors NC State Notre Dame
eFG% 47.6 52.6
TO% 12.6 22.1
OR% 40.0 40
FTR 27.0 17.5

Pace and Efficiency

Team Pts Poss OFF_EFF DEF_EFF
Team Pts Poss OFF_EFF DEF_EFF
NC State 73 63 115.9 107.9
Notre Dame 68 63 107.9 115.9

DJ Funderburk and Markell Johnson were the players that NC State needs them to be all the time: clutch, namely. Funderburk played a huge role in the Wolfpack mounting its rally and made plays happen with his hustle. Markell hit his free throws in a close game, in addition to contributing some clutch buckets. Funderburk also was outstanding at the free throw line when it mattered most.

Notre Dame led for more than 31 minutes, while the Pack led for only three and change, which illustrates well how the Irish dictated the majority of the game. For a while there I wasn’t sure the Irish were going to miss a three-point try, but they figured to eventually start cooling off.

Hardest thing to do in the middle of a game when things are going poorly is tell yourself “these guys are bound to regress” and then actually believe it.

The Irish hit 5-7 from long range in the first half and just 1-11 in the second. They hit the extremes on both ends there. It’s not an exceptional three-point shooting team, and thank goodness they didn’t look like one all night.

Turnovers proved to be a huge difference in the game, as Notre Dame proved surprisingly error-prone. They came into the night with the lowest turnover rate in the country at around 14% and ended up at 22% tonight. The Wolfpack had a +6 turnover margin, which is to say the Pack had six more cracks at scoring than the Irish. That’s a big deal in a tight game, obviously.

And hey remember when we were worried about Markell? What a silly time that was, huh. Twenty-seven on 9-15 shooting, including 4-9 from three, is a heck of a night. He also hit 5-6 at the free throw line. The problems he’s had this season were absent against Notre Dame, and what a welcome sight that was.

Let’s keep all this going at Virginia Tech, why don’t we.