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Wolfpack gets Lockett back in time for ACC Tournament

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Eric Lockett has been reinstated to the N.C. State men’s basketball team ahead of the Wolfpack’s Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament opener Wednesday at noon against Clemson.

The 6-foot-5 transfer, who spent the previous two seasons at Florida International has played in 22 games for N.C. State this season and averaged 5 points along with 3.3 rebounds per contest.

Lockett was charged with misdemeanor assault on Feb. 14 following an alleged altercation at his apartment with a former girlfriend, but the Wake County district attorney’s office later dismissed the charges.

“The campus review of Eric Lockett’s case is complete and no disciplinary actions will be taken.” N.C. State said in a statement issued Tuesday. “With both the legal and campus reviews concluded, and based on information available to us at the current time, Eric has been reinstated to the N.C. State men’s basketball program.”

The senior forward is expected to join the team in Charlotte for the matchup against Clemson but will not play Wednesday, according to N.C. State senior associate athletics director Fred Demarest. 

PACK PREPARES TO DANCE

N.C. State’s women’s basketball team split two games in Greensboro over the weekend. The Wolfpack avenged one of its four regular-season losses when it defeated Florida State in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals but came up short against Louisville on Saturday after jumping out to an early 10-point lead. 

The Wolfpack is currently ranked 10th in the nation and will enter the upcoming NCAA Tournament with a lofty 26-5 mark despite the loss of four players to season-ending injury. N.C. State is poised to host the first and second rounds of the tournament inside Valvano Arena at Reynolds Coliseum for a second straight campaign. 

On Tuesday, N.C. State head coach Wes Moore was named a semifinalist for the Naismith Coach of the Year Award. 

The Wolfpack, despite suffering its second loss of the season against Louisville on Saturday, was happy with the way it battled. The Cards opened up a double-digit lead of their own in the second half before the Pack rallied to tie. 

Ultimately, Louisville pulled away but N.C. State is looking forward to the next phase of its season. 

“I am excited for the postseason,” freshman center Elissa Cunane said. “I look forward to battling great teams. To be on the home court with all the red packed in there is very exciting.”

Cunane will be a factor for N.C. State is the Pack looks to repeat and build off last season’s Sweet 16 appearance. The freshman earned All-ACC Tournament first-team honors and impressed the opposition and pundits alike with her play over the weekend in her hometown of Greensboro. 

“I am happy with what my coaches have taught me and how I am learning and improving as a player,” Cunane said. “I came here to play basketball at a high level and I am doing it well right now so that is good.”

Rob McLamb of Inside Pack Sports has covered N.C. State athletics and recruiting since 2012. You can follow him on Twitter @RobMcLamb.

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