Irish to play fourth game in seven days vs. NC State
Greg McKenna | Friday, February 4, 2022
Notre Dame will play its fourth game in seven days Saturday afternoon as the Irish look to close out a two-game road swing at NC State.
After a disappointing 57-43 home loss to No. 9 Duke Monday, the Irish rebounded with a 68-64 win at Miami to knock the Hurricanes off the top of the ACC standings.
Forward Paul Atkinson, Jr. led the Irish with 23 points and 11 rebounds in Coral Gables, five of which came on the offensive glass. The grad transfer from Yale has averaged 17 points and 9.7 rebounds over the last three games and went 11-for-16 from the field Wednesday.
The Irish (15-7, 8-3 ACC), who now sit in a tie for second in the ACC standings with North Carolina and Miami, are also looking for their second win over NC State (10-13, 3-9 ACC) in 11 days. Notre Dame beat the Wolfpack 73-65 at home last Wednesday behind a Nate Laszewski double-double. The senior forward led the Irish with 18 points and 11 rebounds, which included a personal 8-0 run that erased a five-point deficit in the second half.
Senior Dane Goodwin and freshman Blake Wesley also posted 17 and 15-point nights in the previous matchup vs. the Wolfpack, respectively. The two guards had better nights against the Hurricanes after Notre Dame’s two leading scorers were held to a combined 3-of-22 from the field by the Blue Devils Monday.
Goodwin, who lost his streak of 20 consecutive double-digit scoring games after being held scoreless by Duke, had 14 points versus the Hurricanes. Wesley struggled from the field again Wednesday, scoring just five points and going 0-for-7 from 3, but the South Bend native and three-time ACC Freshman of the Week led the Irish with seven assists.
Senior guard Prentiss Hubb, who leads the conference with a 5.6 assist/turnover ratio in league play, had 15 points against the Hurricanes. The Preseason Second Team All-ACC selection hit three key 3-pointers at the beginning of the second half to help the Irish build a lead they would not relinquish. Notre Dame also has two of the most efficient 3-point shooters in the country in Goodwin (second, .490 3PT%) and Laszewski (11th, .444).
NC State are on a three game losing streak, including a 89-82 loss to Syracuse Wednesday. The Wolfpack sit second from bottom in the ACC Standings.
Sophomore guard Dereon Seabron leads NC State in scoring with 18.2 points per game. The Wolfpack average 75.3 ppg and have three players scoring over 14 ppg, but their opponents have managed 75.5 ppg against them this season.
NC State opponents have also shot 46.4% from the field and 37.3% from 3 this season. Notre Dame is 12-0 when the Irish shoot better than their opponent.
Notre Dame is also 5-1 in its last six road games. Tip-off Saturday at the PNC Arena is scheduled for 3 p.m., and the game will air on the ACC Network.