Wolfpack visits Notre Dame for final road game of regular season

Raleigh, NC – The NC State men’s basketball team returns to the road Wednesday evening when it plays at Notre Dame in its final road contest of the 2020-21 regular season.

The game will be televised on the ACC Network with tipoff scheduled for 7 p.m. Jay Alter and Malcolm Huckaby are on the call. NC State fans can also listen to Gary Hahn and Tony Haynes call the action on the Wolfpack Sports Network.

Pack Tracks

– The Pack plays its fourth road game in its last five outings when it travels to Notre Dame for a Wednesday night contest.

– During its four-game win streak, NC State hasn’t trailed by more than one possession in any game. It’s largest deficit was three (13-10) at Wake Forest. The Pack led for 35 minutes at Pitt, 32 minutes at Wake Forest, 36 minutes at Virginia and 37 minutes vs. Pitt on Sunday.

– NC State enters Wednesday’s game at Notre Dame winners of four consecutive ACC road wins. It’s the first time since the 1973-74 season that NC State has won four consecutive ACC road games in the same season.

– The Pack extended its win streak to four games with a 65-62 win over Pitt on Saturday. NC State held the Panthers to just 34.5 percent shooting in the game, the lowest field goal percentage for an NC State opponent this season. The Pack turned over the Panthers 15 times and had a 23-10 advantage in points off turnovers.

– Jericole Hellems led the Pack in points (15), rebounds (9), assists (5) and tied for the team-lead in steals (2) against Pitt. Hellems has scored in double figures in 11 of the last 12 games and with Devon Daniels out for the season is averaging a team-high 13.1 points per game.

– In its last four games, NC State is shooting 48.2 percent from the field, including 37.9 percent from three-point range, while its holding its opponents to 40.2 percent shooting, including 29.1 percent from three-point range.

Wednesday Storylines

– A win on Wednesday would give the Pack its first five-game ACC win streak since the 2003-04 season. From Feb. 1 to Feb. 15, 2004, NC State won at Maryland, vs. Wake Forest, at Virginia, vs. Florida State and at home against top-ranked Duke. Currently, the Pack’s four-game ACC win streak is its first since Kevin Keatts’ first season as head coach of NC State when his team won four straight from Feb. 14 to Feb. 25, 2018 on its way to an NCAA Tournament berth.

– The Pack announced on Tuesday that junior guard Thomas Allen will miss the rest of the season with a left ankle injury. With senior guard Devon Daniels tearing his ACL at the end of January that leaves NC State with just four scholarship guards for the remainder of the season: two freshmen (Cam Hayes and Shakeel Moore), a redshirt freshman (Dereon Seabron) and a senior (Braxton Beverly).

– Freshman Cam Hayes is playing his best basketball of the season. The Greensboro native has now scored in double figures in three of the last four games. Hayes scored 11 points, passed out a career-best nine assists and had three steals in the win over Pitt on Feb. 17. He had 11 points, five assists and three steals in the win at Wake Forest on Feb. 20. In the win at UVA, Hayes scored 16 points, hitting three three-pointers and went 6-for-6 from the foul line in the final 43 seconds as the Pack snapped UVA’s 15-game home winning streak. Against Pitt on Sunday, Hayes again was clutch at the foul line, hitting 3-of-4 free throws in the final minute as the Pack held on for a three-point win. Hayes has been turnover free in the last two games, playing 64 minutes with zero turnovers. In the last four games, Hayes is averaging 11 points, 4.0 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game.

– Senior guard Braxton Beverly is 12 points away from becoming the 54th member of the 1,000 point club at NC State. He also has 294 career assists and needs just 10 more to break into the top-20 in the NC State record book for career assists.

– Notre Dame shoots the most three-pointers (24.3 attempts per game) and makes the most three-pointers (9 makes per game) of any team in the ACC. The Fighting Irish’s 37.1 shooting percentage from downtown ranks third in the ACC. NC State enters Wednesday having held its last three opponents to under 30 percent shooting from long-range. In ACC play, the Pack is 7-1 if its opponents shoot 33.3% or worst from three-point range, but 1-7 if its opponents shoot better than 33.3%.

– The Pack has made a living at the foul line in its last two games. It attempted a season-high 28 free throws at Virginia before turning around and resetting the season-high with 34 attempts Sunday against Pitt. Notre Dame is tied for first in the NCAA in averaging to commit only 12.4 fouls per game.

– Force at least 15 turnovers. When NC State forces an opponent into 15 or more turnovers this season the Pack is 10-1. When its opponent has less than 15 turnovers, NC State is 2-8. In the Pack’s 12 wins this season, opponents are averaging 18.0 turnovers per game. In its nine losses, NC State’s opponents average just 12.6 turnovers.

– When the Pack’s defense is stealing the ball and converting it into points NC State is tough to beat. The Pack is 10-0 when it scores 19 or more points off opponent turnovers this season, but just 2-9 when it scores 18 points or less off opponent turnovers.

– Pack’s defense has had back-to-back stand out performances. In last Wednesday’s win at #15 Virginia, NC State held the ACC’s top field goal percentage team to just 37.0 percent from the field. It was the lowest shooting percentage for an NC State opponent this season … for four days until the Pack held Pitt to just 34.5 percent shooting in NC State’s win on Saturday. The Pack’s defense has been especially potent in the first half, holding UVA to just 23 points on 37% shooting in the opening 20 minutes and on Sunday limiting the Panthers to just 21 points on 22.6% shooting.

– Shooting percentage tells the story. In the Pack’s 12 wins this season, NC State is combining to shoot 50.0% from the field and hold its opponents to 41.5% shooting. In its nine losses, the numbers are nearly reversed. The Pack is shooting 42.9% when it loses and its opponents are shooting 50%.

– In the nine games since Devon Daniels was injured, forwards Manny Bates, D.J. Funderburk and Jericole Hellems have combined to score 307 points (34.1 combined points an outing for the trio) and are shooting 122-of-231 (52.8%).

– The Pack is averaging 33.6 points in the paint in the eight games since Devon Daniels was injured. With the loss of Daniels, NC State’s top-three scorers remaining are all forwards. After being outscored in points in the paint in five of its first six ACC games, the Pack has tied or outscored its opponents in points in the paint in nine of the last 10 games.

NC State – Notre Dame Series

– Wednesday marks the 16th all-time meeting between the two programs.

– Notre Dame leads the all-time series, 8-7, but NC State has won the last three meetings.

– Last season’s meeting: NC State battled back to score a 73-68 win over Notre Dame inside PNC Arena on Jan. 8, 2020. Notre Dame took its largest lead of the game at 12 points, 51-39, with 15:20 to play. The Irish still led by nine with 10 minutes to go when the Pack went on an 11-2 run to tie the game with 5:25 left. The Pack took its first lead of the game since early in the first half when it was 10-7 on two D.J. Funderburk free throws with 1:37 to go. Funderburk scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half and tied his then-career-high with nine rebounds.