NC State Wolfpack vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Location: Bridgeport, CT
Line: NC State -9
While everyone has been talking about the potential matchup with UCONN, State has a much bigger game to play Saturday morning. In 34 games, only three teams have beat the Wolfpack this year…and Notre Dame is one of them. On February 1st, ND lead an overwhelming majority of the game, holding out for the three-point win.
So yes, this is still very much a revenge tour for State.
Out of the three fellow regional teams; State lost this year to Notre Dame, lost last year in the Sweet Sixteen to Indiana and UCONN has been the target for program growth for years. All three are in Bridgeport. It’s now or never for State.
Keys for Winning
Dynamic Duo of Perez and Johnson
You could say that these two have had great seasons. Which makes it even more impressive when you realize they might be playing their best ball of the season right NOW. In the opening rounds of the Tournament, the duo is shooting over 60% from the floor AND from three. They have 12 made threes, while only having six total turnovers. They’ve brought the energy on both ends of the floor and will be needed to ensure the Pack don’t have a lapse in scoring for small stretches. Notre Dame has struggled at points this season with Guards, if Perez and Johnson can get solid double-digit points, Pack will be on track.
Forwards versus Forwards
To close out the season, Notre Dame went 4-4. But that wasn’t because of effort and performance of their Forwards. Dodson and Westbeld had strong pushes as the season closed, repeatedly leading the team in scoring and rebounding. All that to say, big games needed by Brown-Turner, Jones and Boyd. Would hope that Jones, in particular, can have a stellar game, removing all the negative energy from a season ago when she was an emotional sideline leader for the Pack’s Sweet-16 matchup. While scoring will be important, the Forward group has to take care of the boards and limit possessions from this Notre Dame offense. ND has had moments this season of absolutely struggling to get going on offense (hence the near 14-point difference between these teams PPG), controlling the boards will give the Pack a big time advantage.
No Funny Fouls
Could have spent an entire article talking about the reffing we’ve seen this tournament, but we’re going to be gentlemen this morning. The most impressive part of State’s 32-point win over Kansas State in the second round, was Cunane only playing 13 minutes. Thirteen. Minutes. Two early fouls had her yanked in the first quarter, but the team was in cruise control for the entirety of the game. State needs to set the tone inside and can’t afford to find themselves in foul trouble.
Notre Dame is a good team. What questions people had over their struggles in first round to put away UMass (won by 11), they more than made up for it by absolutely destroying #4 seed Oklahoma, 108-64. Oklahoma had three separate four-minute draughts of scoring and multiple bad possessions/turnovers.
State needs to be smart on offense and control the boards. Don’t let Notre Dame offense get in a groove, while making sure they’re attacking the rim on the other side. Can State keep the hot hand going from three? Can they get double-digit scoring from five separate players? Boy we hope so.
State finally breaks through to the Elite Eight. #GoPack
VIDEO: NC State women fall 64-63 to Princeton on late three in NCAA 1st Round
The NC State women were a 7 seed, picked to move on over 10-seeded Princeton, but that’s not how it worked out.
The Pack women were plagued by turnovers (20) and Princeton capitalized with a late 3 to clinch the win. Highlight above.
Sad day for NC State all around.
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: NC State Moves Up to #15 After Win Over Notre Dame
The NC State Women’s Basketball (16-5) team moved up 5 spots in the Week 13 AP Poll, after defeating Notre Dame 69-65 yesterday, who was ranked 7th then, and ranked 9th now.
ACC Teams in the Week 13 AP Poll
9. Notre Dame
13. Virginia Tech
15. NC State
The Wolfpack’s next game will be on Thursday night on the road at Georgia Tech at 8pm on ACC Network.
NC State Signee Zoe Brooks is a McDonald’s All-American
NC State Women’s Basketball 2023 signee Zoe Brooks was named a McDonald’s All-American yesterday.
|Saint John Vianney (NJ)
|Aalyah Del Rosario
|The Webb School (CA)
|Sidwell Friends School (DC)
|W.J. Keenan (SC)
|Paul VI (NJ)
|Bullis School (MD)
|Westminster School (GA)
|Shabach Christian (FL)
|Palm Bay Magnet (FL)
|Saint John’s Country Day (FL)
|La Lumiere (IN)
|Derby Senior (KS)
|La Jolla Country Day (CA)
|Saint Annes-Belfield (VA)
|Saint Michael Albertville (MN)
|Sierra Canyon (CA)
|La Jolla Country Day
Here is what ESPN had to say about Brooks being named a McDonald’s All-American.
Zoe Brooks, G
Signed with: NC State | 2023 ESPNW 100 ranking: 9
St. John Vianney HS (New Jersey)
Brooks is a gifted scorer who can flat out put the ball in the basket. Over the past 18 months, she has really gone to work on her conditioning and it brought her game to another level. She is a true three-level scorer. Defenses must be there on the close out, but containing Brooks is no easy feat as she attacks angles, changes speeds, and has the footwork and handle to counter. Her strength allows her to finish with contact at the rim and her touch provides an array of floaters and usage of the glass for buckets. Brooks sees the floor well and zips passes to teammates for open looks. Defensively, she has fantastic instincts and is good in passing lanes and in the press. Brooks is averaging 24 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game this season. (ESPN)
Women’s Basketball: #20 NC State 71 Miami 61: Box Score & Highlights
#20 NC State picked up a much needed win last night against Miami, defeating the Hurricanes 71-61 in PNC Arena, avoiding a 3-game skid.
Sophomore Guard Saniya Rivers led the pack with 14 points, 6 steals, 3 rebounds and 3 assists.
As long as she keeps working, @PackWomensBball Saniya Rivers ( @Ihoop___22 ) is going to be a really fun @wnba player to cover in a few years.
(Until then, I’ll enjoy watching her, @haileyvanlith , NC State & @LouisvilleWBB on ABC Sunday at 1pm et.)
— Rebecca Lobo (@RebeccaLobo) January 19, 2023
Seniors Camille Hobby and Mimi Collins both had 11 points.
Sophomore Guard Aziaha James had 10 points, and led the Pack with 6 rebounds.
The Wolfpack was without Jada Boyd and Jessica Timmons last night, and River Baldwin went down with an injury, and will have an MRI tomorrow.
NC State is now 14-5 overall, and 4-4 in ACC play, and will play at Louisville on Sunday at 1pm on ABC.