N.C. State started the second half of its ACC schedule showing once again it’s a different team from the one that started league play five weeks ago.
The Wolfpack dominated Notre Dame from the start Saturday, scoring the game’s first nine points, building a 16-point halftime lead and rolling to a 76-58 win before a sold-out crowd of 19,500 at PNC Arena.
This win showed progress because it was one month ago on Jan. 3 that Notre Dame blasted the Wolfpack, 88-58.
The teams have swapped slots since then as the Wolfpack never trailed the Irish (13-10, 3-7 ACC) in the rematch.
N.C. State (16-7, 6-4 ACC) won its third game in a row, turning in a strong performance in its first game since winning 95-91 in overtime at North Carolina on Jan. 27.
“It’s great because we got another win,” N.C. State guard Braxton Beverly said. “It’s a nice little streak we’ve got going. It’s great that we got it back after what happened to us in South Bend. It’s something that we shouldn’t have let happen, something we were upset with.”
Torin Dorn led the Wolfpack with 21 points. Beverly added 16 points, hitting three of five 3-pointers. Omer Yurtseven scored 10 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for his third double-double in ACC play this season.
While dropping its seventh game in a row, Notre Dame shot just 25.9 percent in the first half and finished at 38.9 percent for the game. The Irish turned the ball over 15 times. That’s despite the return of senior guard Matt Farrell, who has been limited by a bone bruise in his foot since suffering the injury during the first half of the game with N.C. State at Notre Dame.
Having played in just two of Notre Dame’s previous seven games, Farrell started and scored 16 points against the Wolfpack on Saturday.
Still, he could do little to stop the N.C. State onslaught. The Wolfpack hit 30 of 60 shots (50 percent), the third time it has shot 50 percent or better in ACC play this season.
“When we went to Notre Dame, I thought it was our worst game of the season,” N.C. State coach Kevin Keatts said. “Nothing went right. We didn’t shoot the ball well. I thought our defense was really bad, especially our 3-point defense. We didn’t share the basketball. Give these guys credit. What a turnaround that we’ve had. We played extremely hard today on both ends of the floor.”