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Defense earns the Wolfpack a big 63-51 win at Louisville

That was a much-needed confidence-booster.

Syndication: The Courier-Journal Sam Upshaw Jr./Courier Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

That’s more like it, ladies! A fast start and a strong finish gets it done at Louisville, where the Cardinals had won 14 consecutive league games. The Cards have had their own struggles this season, but that’s still a tough place to win.

NC State pushed out to a double-digit lead early in the game and Louisville fought back to lead by four late in the third quarter, but the Pack had answers and completely shut down Louisville’s offense in the fourth quarter.

Four Factors

... NC State Louisville
... NC State Louisville
eFG% 51.0 33.3
TO% 21.7 17.4
OR% 20.0 27.1
FTR 38.0 16.7

Pace and Efficiency

Louisville 51 69 73.9 91.3
NC State 63 69 91.3 73.9

Louisville shot just 1-16 over the final 10 minutes and scored four points. State also had its worst shooting quarter of the day, but did shoot 5-10 inside the arc—and 15 points in this case was plenty to pull away.

Jada Boyd was back in action and played really well—she’s such a difference-maker for this team when she’s effective scoring the ball. Saniya Rivers did what she does best, getting downhill for some tough buckets in the paint. She also played some excellent defense on Louisville star Hailey Van Lith, who shot 4-20.

The Pack did a heck of a job battling in the third quarter at times when it looked like the game might be turning in Louisville’s favor, rallying back to take a one-point lead into the fourth.

The big difference in this one came inside, as NC State shot 52.9% on twos while Louisville was under 30%.

NC State moved to 5-4 in ACC play with this win, and the next stretch sets up well: tough home games against Notre Dame and Virginia Tech, but also road trips against Georgia Tech (1-7 in ACC), Wake Forest (2-7), and Virginia (3-6). If the Pack can split those home games and take care of business on the road, it’ll be in excellent shape going down the stretch.