Barber Back In Action

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Wolfpack Nation received a scare in the ACC Tournament loss when sophomore point guard Cat Barber left the game early with an injury.

Wolfpack Nation received a scare in the ACC Tournament loss when sophomore point guard Cat Barber left the game early with an injury.

Barber, who didn't return to the Duke loss, went down hard after running into a screen set by Duke forward Amile Jefferson. He was under the care and supervision of NC State's sports medicine staff, and on Friday evening he received a computed tomography (X-ray CT) scan of his head and neck. The tests all came back normal.

He was then cleared to play, having suffered a spasm in his neck muscles.

NC State head coach Mark Gottfried was happy to have Barber back but wanted to make sure he was 100%.

"We all want him to play," said Gottfried. "I want him to play, and more than that we want to make sure he's okay. That's the most important thing. He came back, he was thoroughly checked out by all our doctors. He was cleared."

Gottfried added on Sunday evening that Barber was back practicing with the team and is good to go.

"We practiced today, and he was really good," Gottfried said. "He shot the ball well in practice. He was quick and the old Cat."

Barber's late-season emergence has been crucial to the Pack's recent success. NC State closed the regular season winning five of their final six games, and down the stretch he was a difference maker.

For the season, he averages 12.1 points per game and leads the Wolfpack with 3.81 assists per game. Barber is averaging 16.0 points over the last 11 games, and he scored a career-high 34 points in NC State's ACC Tournament victory over Pittsburgh.

"It's important for our team," Gottfried said of having Barber healthy. "You look back at the Pittsburgh game and he was as good as any guard in the country."


Pack Pride Top Stories