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NC State’s Markell Johnson to miss Notre Dame game with back injury

N.C. State’s Braxton Beverly (10) steals the ball from Pittsburgh’s Xavier Johnson (1) during the first half of N.C. State’s game against Pittsburgh at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C., Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019. N.C. State’s Markell Johnson (11) is to the right.
N.C. State’s Braxton Beverly (10) steals the ball from Pittsburgh’s Xavier Johnson (1) during the first half of N.C. State’s game against Pittsburgh at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C., Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019. N.C. State’s Markell Johnson (11) is to the right. ehyman@newsobserver.com

N.C. State guard Markell Johnson will miss his second straight ACC game with a back injury.

The junior point guard traveled with the team to South Bend, Ind. for Saturday’s game with Notre Dame (2 p.m., WRAL) but will not be in the lineup, according to the team’s Twitter account.

Johnson averages 11.6 points per game and leads the Wolfpack with 4.1 assists per game. He injured his back trying to block a shot in the first half of N.C. State’s 86-80 win over Pittsburgh on Jan. 12.

He crashed to the floor at 9:45 in the first half after he jumped to try to block a layup by Pitt’s Jared Wilson-Frame. Johnson jumped and caught his feet on Wilson-Frame’s back and fell hard to the floor.

He did not return in the Pitt win and did not play in N.C. State’s 71-67 loss at Wake Forest on Tuesday.

Without Johnson, N.C State will rely on Braxton Beverly and C.J. Bryce to run the offense. Reserve point guard Blake Harris only played 3 minutes in the Wake Forest loss.

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