Cam Hayes scored a career-best 20 points and fellow freshman Dereon Seabron had a double-double of 17 points and 13 rebounds as visiting North Carolina State rolled to its fifth straight win with a 80-69 victory against Notre Dame on Wednesday night at Purcell Pavilion in South Bend, Ind.
Playing at home for the first time in 17 days, the Fighting Irish (9-14, 6-11 Atlantic Coast Conference) led for a mere 19 seconds while trailing by as many as 19. Notre Dame shot 37.5 percent compared to 54.1 percent for the Wolfpack as the Fighting Irish lost for the fourth straight time.
N.C. State’s newcomers set the pace. Hayes shot 7-for-11 while Seabron, who also set a new career scoring high, went 8-for-12.
Notre Dame slashed the deficit to single digits with a 12-0 run in the closing minutes, drawing to within seven points with 1:17 to play. N.C. State (13-9, 9-8 ACC) missed the front end of three one-and-ones during that span to fuel the surge.
Still, the rally proved too little, too late for the Fighting Irish. Prentiss Hubb scored 14 points to lead a balanced attack that included Trey Wertz (12 points) and Juwan Durham (10). Cormac Ryan narrowly missed a double-double, contributing nine points and nine rebounds.
Jericole Hellems added 13 points and six rebounds for N.C. State. Notre Dame won the rebounding battle 42-38, but the Wolfpack held a 38-28 advantage on points in the paint.
A crowd of 497 students attended the game, as fans were permitted inside Purcell Pavilion for the first time this season.
The Wolfpack took a 40-32 lead into the break behind 54.5 percent shooting and strong starts from Hellems and Hayes, who combined for 20 points on 9-for-15 accuracy from the field. The duo was dominant from the outset, scoring nine of the team’s first 11 points.
Three players scored six points apiece for Notre Dame in the first half. The Fighting Irish struggled to 35.3 percent shooting in the first 20 minutes while committing seven turnovers.
–Field Level Media