One team continued its surprising ascent up the Atlantic Coast Conference standings. The one kept its injury-filled fall down the ACC going.
North Carolina State scored the first nine points Saturday and never trailed en route to a 76-58 blowout of Notre Dame at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C.
Torin Dorn pumped in a game-high 21 points for the Wolfpack (16-7, 6-4 ACC), who are in the running for one of the double byes in next month’s conference tournament. Braxton Beverly added 16, while Omer Yurtseven hit for 10 points.
Point guard Markell Johnson dished out 10 assists, the fourth straight game he’s posted double-figure helpers. N.C. State made 51.7 percent of its field-goal attempts and dominated the glass to the tune of 38-26.
Sterling Gibbs scored 14 points for the Fighting Irish (13-10, 3-7), who lost their seventh straight game. Notre Dame has been without preseason All-American Bonzie Colson throughout that stretch. It regained guard Matt Farrell from injury on Saturday. He tallied 16 points to lead the Irish, but also committed five turnovers.
Yurtseven’s jumper 30 seconds into the game started the snowball rolling straight downhill. Abdul-Malik Abu converted a layup 3:09 into the contest to make it 9-0 and force Notre Dame coach Mike Brey to burn a timeout before his team scored a point.
All the timeouts in the world weren’t going to save the Irish in this one. Beverly gave the Wolfpack their first double-figure lead 11 minutes into the game with a 3-pointer that made it 20-9. It grew as high as 35-16 on a Dorn layup with 2:29 left before N.C. State settled for a 37-21 advantage at the break.
Beverly’s 3-point shot less than 2 ½ minutes into the second half upped the margin to 21. It reached 30 on a Dorn jumper with 8:25 remaining, and the Wolfpack coasted to the finish line.
Notre Dame needed a second-half surge to reach 38.9 percent shooting for the game.
— Field Level Media