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No. 16 Louisville beats NC State 77-72 to go to 2-0 in ACC

Quentin Snider, Lennard Freeman

Louisville’s Quentin Snider (2) dribbles around North Carolina State’s Lennard Freeman (1) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Raleigh, N.C., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016. Louisville won 77-72. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)


RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) Quentin Snider scored a career-high 21 points to help No. 16 Louisville beat North Carolina State 77-72 on Thursday night.

Freshman Ray Spalding had 12 points off the bench for the Cardinals (13-2, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference). They shot 51 percent and used a 9-0 run in the second half to build a double-digit lead before having to hang on against a frantic comeback by the Wolfpack.

The Cardinals led by 16 with 3:38 left only to see the Wolfpack (10-5, 0-2) crawl to 75-72 on Anthony “Cat” Barber’s three-point play with 16.8 seconds left.

But Damion Lee hit two free throws with 3.5 seconds left to seal it, holding on in a finish that was much tighter than expected.

Barber scored 20 points to lead N.C. State. The Wolfpack fell to 0-2 in the ACC for the first time under fifth-year coach Mark Gottfried.

N.C. State appeared headed to a blowout loss when Snider hit two free throws to make it 71-55 with 3:38 left, but the Wolfpack eventually got two 3-pointers from Caleb Martin followed by another off a turnover from Maverick Rowan that closed the gap to 71-67 with 40.4 seconds left.

Barber got the Wolfpack even closer with his three-point play and had a chance to tie when Lee missed two free throws.

But Barber collided with defender Chinanu Onuaku on a drive in the paint - the referees said Onuaku went straight up - and the ball went out of bounds. The call was originally for N.C. State with 7.5 seconds left, but referees reversed it after a replay and said it went off N.C. State.

Lee was fouled on the inbounds and hit the clinching free throws, finishing with 13 points on the night.



Louisville: Onuaku had 12 points and 14 rebounds. ... The Cardinals beat the Wolfpack in last year’s NCAA Sweet 16. ... Louisville made 7 of 13 3-pointers.

N.C. State: Rowan scored 17 points, and Abdul-Malik Abu had 15 points and 12 rebounds. ... The Wolfpack shot 36 percent. ... N.C. State held a “blackout” with the home team wearing black uniforms.


Louisville travels to Clemson on Sunday.

N.C. State travels to Wake Forest on Sunday.


Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at and the AP’s college basketball site at