basketball Edit

Quick hits from NC State's loss to Louisville

Quick hits and notes from NC State basketball’s 77-57 loss to Louisville in front of 18,197 fans at PNC Arena in Raleigh Saturday afternoon.

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Play Of The Game

Louisville senior guard and grad transfer Lamarr “Fresh” Kimble made sure there would be no final Wolfpack rally. NC State senior guard Markell Johnson made a three-pointer with 9:43 left to end a 7-0 Louisville run and cut the Cardinals’ lead to 63-55.

The two teams traded a pair of empty possessions, including Wolfpack redshirt junior forward DJ Funderburk missing a layup. With 7:37 left in the contest, Kimble made a three-pointer at the top of the key to put the advantage back into double digits, for good.

Highlight Of The Game

You don’t see a lot of four-point plays in college basketball, and for NC State it was particularly good to see fifth-year senior guard C.J. Bryce do it with 14:34 left in the game.

Bryce had been a prolonged two-game slump that carried through the first half of the Louisville contest, but he made 5 of 8 second half shots and finished with a team-high 15 points.

Player Of The Game

For much of the first half, neither team seemed interested in taking advantage of the other team’s offensive inefficiency. Louisville was turning it over a bunch, while NC State was misfiring left and right.

That changed when Louisville fifth-year senior Ryan McMahon took over. He made six straight three-point shot attempts in the first half before finally missing near the end of the half. He made 1 of 3 in the second half from long range to finish with a career-high 23 points.

McMahon had not been playing as much in the previous four games, getting off the bench for no more than 17 minutes in any of them.

The seven made threes were the most by a Wolfpack opponent in PNC Arena since John Gillon made nine for Syracuse in 2017.

Offensive Slump Continues

It’s worth repeating this note from the Georgia Tech quick hits column and updating them. These games consist of six of the last seven (a home win over Miami on Jan. 15 not included):

• At Virginia Tech — 58 points, 31.9 percent shooting overall, 6 of 30 on three-pointers.

• Vs. Clemson — 60 points, 39.2 percent shooting overall, 6 of 25 on three-pointers.

• At Virginia — 53 points, 39.2 percent shooting overall, 5 of 16 on three-pointers.

• At Georgia Tech — 58 points, 37.9 percent shooting overall, 4 of 19 on three-pointers.

• Vs. North Carolina — 65 points, 42.4 percent shooting overall, 4 of 20 on three-pointers.

• Vs. Louisville — 57 points, 32.8 percent shooting overall, 5 of 23 on three-pointers.

Two Halves Within A Half

With 10 minutes to go in the first half, NC State was doing a very good job on defense and trailed 15-13. In the final 10 minutes, the Cards outscored NC State 26-13 in large part because it turned the ball over less (seven times in the first 10 minutes and four in the final 10) and McMahon made four threes.

In the second half, NC State outscored Louisville 26-11 in the first nine minutes, making 10 of 18 shots from the field in that stretch, including 3 of 5 three-pointers. In the final 11 minutes of the game, NC State made only 2 of 15 shots and 1 of 8 threes.

What's Next

Bracketology is starting to matter, and NC State has to find a way to turn it around ASAP because it is hitting the road for three straight ACC road games: at Miami Wednesday, at Syracuse on Feb. 11 and then at Boston College Feb. 16.

Last year the Pack went 1-2 when it played a three-game road stretch in conference action. The last time NCSU has won consecutive games on the road in league play was February of 2018 when it won at Syracuse and then Wake Forest, and before that you have to go back to 2015.

Spotted At The Game

It was Military Appreciation Day, which NC State does as well as anybody.

Also at the game was NC State four-star basketball signee Cam Hayes from Greensboro (N.C.) Day School.

Scoring Between Official Timeouts

Here we keep track of the scoring between each official timeout to help give an idea of the game flow:

First half

20:00-15:47: NC State 5, Louisville 4

15:47-11:44: Louisville 7, NC State 5

11:44-6:45: NC State 11, Louisville 8

6:45-4:18: Louisville 9, NC State 0

4:18-Halftime: Louisville 13, NC State 5

Second half

20:00-15:30: NC State 11, Louisville 5

15:30-10:57: NC State 15, Louisville 12

10:57-7:49: Louisville 5, NC State 3

7:49-3:54: Louisville 7, NC State 2

3:54-Final: Louisville 7, NC State 0

Game Scores

Using Hollinger’s measure of productivity, players are graded 1-40 with 10 being average for an NBA player.

Bryce: 8.7

Senior guard Markell Johnson: 8.4

Funderburk: 6.5

Redshirt junior guard Devon Daniels: 5.7

Redshirt freshman center Manny Bates: 1.9

Sophomore forward Jericole Hellems: 0.7

Junior guard Braxton Beverly: -0.1


Here is the plus/minus for each player (the difference between points scored while they were on the floor) on NCSU.

• Hellems -2 (27:21 played)

• Funderburk -4 (31:54)

• Johnson -10 (35:19)

• Daniels -16 (36:52)

• Bates -18 (12:06)

• Beverly -20 (15:08)

• Bryce -23 (35:41)

What The Loss Means

NC State is 14-8 overall and 5-6 in the ACC, and Louisville is 19-3 and 10-1. The Cardinals lead the all-time series 13-10, and NC State is 6-5 against them in Raleigh.

The Pack is 11-3 at home this year. NC State is 7-5 in day games (played before 6 p.m.), 8-4 in weekend games and 1-7 when trailing at halftime.

The game was broadcast on ESPN. During the season, we’ll keep track of how NC State does on the various networks.

- ACC Network Extra: 3-0

- ESPN+: 1-0

- RSN: 4-2

- ACC Network: 3-2

- ESPN2: 2-2

- ESPN: 1-2

We will also track NC State’s records by month:

- November: 5-2

- December: 5-1

- January: 4-4

- February: 0-1

Other Stats Of Note

• Louisville won the battle in the paint, 28-18.

• The Cards had the edge in fast break points, 14-5.

• Louisville’s bench crushed NC State’s reserves, 43-5.

• The Pack had the edge in turnover margin, 18-11, and points off turnovers, 13-5. If you are looking for a positive, the 18 turnovers were one off a season high for the Cards.

• Louisville won the battle on the boards, 39-30 overall, while thanks to field goal percentage shooting NC State had an 11-8 on the offensive glass. State had a 13-9 advantage on second-chance points.

• Defensively, NC State had four blocks and nabbed seven steals. The Cards altered four shots and had just one steal.

• NC State’s largest lead was only two points, while Louisville’s was the final margin. NC State led for 1:42 compared to 33:21 for the Louisville. The game was tied for 4:57.


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