Sherman’s 21 points, 18 rebounds not enough as Notre Dame falls to N.C. State
BY LAMOND POPE Sun-Times Media January 7, 2014 11:34PM
Notre Dame center Garrick Sherman, left, posts up against North Carolina State center Jordan Vandenberg in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)
Updated: January 7, 2014 11:35PM
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Notre Dame needed to make a stop. But North Carolina State seemed to have an answer. From a variety of options.
Four North Carolina State players reached double figures in scoring as the Wolfpack defeated the Irish 77-70 in front of 7,721 fans Tuesday at Purcell Pavilion.
“We were right on the edge. We just couldn’t break through the barrier,” Notre Dame center Garrick Sherman said. “Give credit to them, they hit the shots they needed to keep that lead and keep them comfortable.”
Sherman did his part, leading the Irish with 21 points and 18 rebounds.
“I knew they were going to be physical so I just tried to come in and be physical with them and try to match their physicality,” Sherman said. “I was able to do that at times, but I don’t think I was consistent enough. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done.”
That’s the case for the entire team, which couldn’t carry over the momentum from Saturday’s upset victory against Duke.
“We just never could get into much of an offensive rhythm,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. “I thought tonight you kind of saw some of the growing pains of this group. We were struggling to get into any kind of offensive rhythm.”
Notre Dame (10-5, 1-1) got within four points thanks to two free throws by Eric Atkins with 3:33 to go. But the Irish didn’t score again until Steve Vasturia mad a three-pointer with 1:24 remaining. The basket did cut the deficit to three, 69-66.
But North Carolina State made its free throws down the stretch, eight of 10 in the final 48.9 seconds, to hand Notre Dame its first conference loss.
“We didn’t move the ball as well on offense as we did on Saturday,” Sherman said. “We didn’t get as many open shots as we usually do. And they just played really well. They hit the shots when they needed to and we couldn’t get the stops.”
Pat Connaughton and Atkins had 15 and 14 points, respectively for Notre Dame.
T.J. Warren had 17 points to lead the Wolfpack (11-4, 1-1 ACC). Anthony Barber scored 16 points while Desmond Lee and Ralston Turner had 12 points.
“For our team, it’s a great bounce-back win,” Wolfpack coach Mark Gottfried said. “We had a tough second half against Pitt and I liked that the fact that our guys showed some resiliency and bounced back and beat a good team.”