"I just hate it that these kids have played so hard all year and so well all year," Moore said. "I hate that on this stage we had such a rough showing."
Gatling dressed out and stood under the basket while rebounding for her teammates during pregame warm-ups, but spent the rest of Saturday watching from the bench.
Gatling's absence was a tough blow for a team that was already down two seniors, guard Myisha Goodwin-Coleman and forward Lakeesa Daniel, due to season-ending knee injuries suffered on consecutive days in mid-February.
And with Gatling gone, N.C. State lacked the focal point of its offense — a player averaging 18 points and seven rebounds while shooting a national-best 67.6 percent.
Second-leading scorer Kody Burke managed just four points on 1-for-8 shooting as N.C. State shot 31 percent for the game, including 4 for 20 from 3-point range as it searched for a new flow.
"You can talk about running different stuff," Moore said. "But when you've ran four out and one in all year long, it's kind of hard to change when you find out less than an hour before tip that your one in is not playing."
As for Notre Dame, the Fighting Irish got a jumper from Lindsay Allen to cap its 12-0 run in the opening 5-plus minutes, then ran off an 11-0 burst midway through the opening half to blow the game open and take a 42-15 lead on Taya Reimer's layup at the 1:50 mark on the way to a 46-18 halftime lead.
N.C. State, which lost to Notre Dame by 24 at home last weekend, got no closer than 27 points in the second half.
Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap