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NC State handles Louisville, 76-64

The Cards lost despite shooting better than 50 percent from the field for just the second time this year.

NCAA Basketball: Louisville at N.C. State Jaylynn Nash-USA TODAY Sports

Louisville fell to 0-3 in conference play for the first time since the 1997-98 season following a 76-64 loss to NC State Thursday night in Raleigh. The game marked just the second time this season the Cardinals — who were 17.5-point underdogs — have covered a spread.

Thanks to some poor shooting from the hosts and some solid inside play from Sydney Curry and Brandon Huntley-Hatfield, Louisville trailed by just three at the break. NC State then torched the Cardinals from behind the three-point line in the second half, quickly building a more sizable lead that would ultimately grow as large as 18.

Curry led Louisville with 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting. El Ellis (15), Huntley-Hatfield (12) and Mike James (10) joined Curry in double figures.

Louisville actually shot 51.1 percent from the field, but 17 turnovers and NC State’s 10-4 advantage in made three-pointers proved to be the difference. The Wolfpack also had 17 assists to U of L’s four.

The good news is that the team showed some fight throughout the second half, and that they finally took advantage of their frontcourt advantage against someone. The bad news is that they once again let a group of snow flurries turn into an avalanche in the first 7 minutes of the second half, and after that, it was only a question of what the final margin was going to be.

Kentucky, which has not defeated Louisville since before Covid was a thing, is up next.