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NC State Basketball

#5 NC State Welcomes #24 UNC Into their “Small Gym” Filled with “Classless” Fans Tonight

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The 5th ranked NC State Women’s Basketball team (18-2/6-2) will welcome #24 UNC (15-6/7-2) into their “small gym” this evening, to be harassed by the Wolfpack’s “classless” fans.

Back in January of 2022, prior to the two rivals meeting in Reynolds Coliseum, UNC Head Coach Courtney Banghart belittled playing against a sold out crowd, because it’s easy to sell out a “small gym.”

You have to love former NC State Athletic Director Debbie Yow’s tweet of “Bless her heart” in response.

After the 5th ranked Wolfpack defeated the 19th ranked Tar Heels that evening, Banghart wouldn’t back down.

But Banghart seemed to double down on her earlier comments about Reynolds. “I got to say, the gym in the Bahamas was even louder and hotter. I would like to blame it on anything else,” she said. (WRAL)

Then in August of 2022, on The Tar Heel Show Podcast, Banghart called NC State’s fanbase “classless” and “mean to us.”

She also said she likes beating Duke because they are more “relevant” than NC State. For context, the Wolfpack have won 3 of the last 4 ACC championships, and Duke last won the ACC Tournament in 2013. When was the last time UNC’s Women’s Basketball team won the ACC Tournament? 2008.

This week, NC State head coach Wes Moore showed that he keeps receipts.

“I think someone called our fans classless?” Moore said. “Thursday night, I hope we’re real classless. I hope we bring the heat.”

Tonight’s game is massive for the Wolfpack, who despite being projected to be a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, currently sit in 5th place in the ACC standings. They are 1 game back from Louisville, and a half game back from Virginia Tech, UNC and Syracuse.

Tune in tonight at 8pm on ACC Network to watch this rivalry game that is sure to be spirited.

Matthew is Co-Owner of Pack Insider. He writes for all sports, with a focus on football and recruiting, and is in charge of business strategy. He is an NC State alum who majored in business. Matthew is also the lead pastor of The Point Church in Cary, NC.

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NC State Basketball

Thoughts on NC State’s 83-87 Loss to Syracuse

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NC State’s (16-10/8-7) 83-87 loss to Syracuse this evening might have been the nail-in-the-coffin when it comes to the Wolfpack’s NCAA Tournament aspirations. They were barely on the bubble as it was, but this game and the next two games against Boston College and Florida State were “must wins.” On top of that, the Wolfpack probably needed to beat Pitt in the regular season finale, and beat either Duke or UNC.

With this loss, NC State will need a miracle. They will need to win the rest of their regular season games, which concludes with 3 consecutive Quad 1 games.

In regards to this evenings game, it’s hard to beat a team when you allow them to shoot 61.3% in the first half, and allow a guy who averages 11.3 points per game (Chris Bell) to sink 8 of 9 three’s at the halfway mark. Sure, you could make the excuse that they were just hitting everything they threw up, but the defense was lackluster, and they failed to adjust to a player with a hot hand.

What I’m about to say isn’t meant to describe a moral victory for NC State. With that being said, this team didn’t give up, and clawed back from a 15-point halftime deficit (16-point at one point in the 2nd half), to take a 1-point lead with 3:15 left in the game. That was the first time the Wolfpack had led since it was 2-0.

Senior DJ Horne was sensational once again, scoring 25+ points for the 5th straight game, matching what Cat Barber did back in 2015-16. Horne finished with 32 points, hitting 11 of his 20 field goal attempts, and an insane 6 of 8 from three.

Could you argue that Horne was fouled on the last play? I guess, but I wouldn’t have called it.

Three other Wolfpack players scored in double figures: Ben Middlebrooks (12), DJ Burns (12) and Jayden Taylor (10). Honestly, they all shot well. Middlebrooks had a double-double, with 10 rebounds.

Mohamed Diarra was solid with 7 points (3-6) and 8 boards.

Syracuse came back to reality in the second half, and ended up shooting 51% from the field, but the Wolfpack shot 47%. Both teams shot well. In fact, NC State actually scored more points off of turnovers, had more second chance points and had more free throws.

You simply can’t put yourself in a position to dig yourself out of a 16-point deficit. You can’t allow a guy to make 8 of 9 three’s in the opening half, with 6 of them being practically uncontested.

The Wolfpack have lost 3 of the last 4, and all 3 losses have been by 4 points or less. I wouldn’t say the Pack lost any of those three games due to a lack of effort. Rather, I would say it was primarily due to inconsistency, a lack of discipline and poor decisions in timely moments (Jayden Taylor’s TO with 1:13 left with the game tied).

With Wake Forest beating Pitt tonight, a Wolfpack win would have put them in 4th place in the ACC.

A big missed opportunity for the Pack this evening.

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NC State Basketball

NC State 83 Syracuse 87: BOX SCORE

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NC State has now lost 7 straight to Syracuse, falling to the Orange 83-87 in PNC Arena this evening. Below is the Box Score.

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NC State Basketball

DJ Horne is Looking to Continue His Streak of 20+ Points or More

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NC State is trying to stop a 6-game losing streak to Syracuse tonight, but Senior Wolfpack Guard DJ Horne is trying to continue a streak.

Currently, Horne has scored 20+ points in 5 straight games, which is tied with what Terquavion Smith did last year. If Horne scores 20+ points tonight, his 6-game streak will be the longest since 2015-16, when Cat Barber strung together 7 straight games of 20+ points.

Horne also has scored 25+ points in 4 straight games. If he does so again tonight, he will be the first player to do so since Barber did so in 2015-16, when he scored 25+ in 5-straight games.

What Horne has done in his coming home campaign has been nothing short of remarkable. He is shooting 43.4% from three, which ranks 2nd in the ACC. In his last 18 games, Horne is shooting 46.6% from deep. In ACC play, Horne is averaging 19.3 points per game, which ranks 2nd in the conference.

Here’s what Horne’s numbers look like over his 5-game streak of 20+ points: 26.6 points/51.8 FG%/48.8 3PT%.

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NC State Basketball

NC State is Looking to Snap a 6-Game Losing Streak to Syracuse

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NC State might be a 5.5-point favorite this evening agains Syracuse, but beating the Orange hasn’t been easy for the Wolfpack over the past couple of years. Syracuse has defeated NC State in 6 consecutive games.

The 6-game losing streak is the Wolfpack’s longest current losing streak. The Pack are in familiar territory, after snapping a 6-game losing streak to Clemson their last time out.

Kevin Keatts started off his tenure in Raleigh by beating the Orange in 3 consecutive games, but has lost the last 6 obviously.

The last time NC State defeated Syracuse was on February 11th, 2020, winning 79-74 on the road. The last time the Wolfpack beat Syracuse at home was the year before, winning decisively 73-58 in PNC Arena on February 13th, 2019.

In three of the losses, the Wolfpack was upset.

 

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