Matt Cross made two 3-pointers in the final six minutes, including a tie-breaking shot with 26 seconds left, as visiting Louisville regrouped to defeat North Carolina State 73-68 in the ACC opener for both teams Saturday at Raleigh, N.C.
It was the first victory in two games for Louisville (6-2, 1-0 ACC) since the return of coach Chris Mack after he served a six-game school-imposed suspension to begin the season for failure to follow university guidelines.
Malik Williams had 14 points and 11 rebounds for Louisville and Cross finished with 13 points off the bench. Noah Locke's 12 points along with 11 points apiece from Dre Davis and El Ellis also helped the Cardinals.
Jericole Hellems had 18 points and Terquavion Smith poured in 17 points for NC State (6-2, 0-1), which had been unbeaten in its first five home games. Cam Hayes provided 15 points and Dereon Seabron, coming off a 39-point effort, added 11.
Hellems, a senior in his 100th game with the Wolfpack, and Smith both each three 3-pointers. Hellems made a 3-pointer for a 68-64 advantage with 3:02 to play for the Wolfpack's final points.
Noah Locke's 3-pointer pulled Louisville even at 68-68 with 1:31 remaining.
After the go-ahead 3-pointer by Cross, Hayes missed on a 3-point attempt before Jarrod West sank two free throws with seven seconds left for Louisville.
Louisville led 43-29 at halftime, shooting 50 percent (16 of 32) from the field. But the Cardinals had just 11 points during the first 12 minutes of the second half as the Wolfpack surged into the lead.
NC State's lead grew to 59-54 with 7:51 remaining before the Cardinals responded.
Louisville's reserves outscored NC State's bench players 28-0. But the Cardinals were charged with 13 turnovers compared to just six for NC State.
NC State was trying to duplicate its success from Wednesday night, when it overcame a double-digit deficit to defeat visiting Nebraska 104-100 in four overtimes.
Louisville has won six of the eight meetings since joining the ACC. Last season's scheduled game was cancelled because of COVID protocols.
--Field Level Media