Terps' last-second losses are 2 of a kind Virginia's score with :01.9 left tops men, 76-74

March 08, 1992|By Don Markus | Don Markus,Staff Writer

COLLEGE PARK -- A large banner was unfurled at the end of the pre-game ceremony, with his name and number and the announcement that Walt Williams had become the newest member of the University of Maryland's basketball Hall of Fame.

It didn't turn out to be a banner afternoon for Williams, or the Terrapins.

After tying the game at 74 on two free throws with 1:23 left, Williams had a chance to leave Cole Field House a hero once more. But his 18-foot air ball with nine seconds left, and Junior Burrough's tip-in with 1.9 seconds left, dealt the Terps a 76-74 loss to Virginia.

Maryland had another chance to tie, or win, but Kevin McLinton missed a 25-footer at the buzzer. The loss stopped a three-game winning streak for the Terps and left Maryland (13-14, 5-11) facing Clemson in the preliminary game to the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament Thursday night in Charlotte, N.C.

"I'd just like to compliment our players for the effort they made," said Maryland coach Gary Williams, whose Terps were playing their third game in six days and their second in less than two. "We had been through an emotional and physical week. Some shots didn't go in for us. Some shots did go in for Virginia."

Despite finishing with a game-high 31 points and eight rebounds, Williams, in particular, had a difficult game shooting. After making his first shot, a three-pointer, he missed his next six and finished the first half only two of 10. He was seven of 21 before hitting three straight, including a two three-pointers, to forge a 70-67 lead with a little more than four minutes left.

After a three-pointer by Virginia freshman guard Corey Alexander tied the score at 72 and after two free throws each by Williams and the Cavaliers' Bryant Stith left it tied at 74, it finally came down to two of the best players in the country. Williams, the ACC's leading scorer this season, and Stith, Virginia's all-time leading scorer.

First, with 49 seconds to go, Stith missed a 10-footer along the baseline. Chris Kerwin got the rebound, and Maryland called timeout with 25.1 seconds to play. "Everybody in Cole Field House knew who was going to take the last shot," said Stith, who finished with a team-high 18 points. "If anybody was going to beat us, it was going to Vince Broadnax."

Virginia coach Jeff Jones, whose 15-12 team (8-8 in the ACC) kept its chances alive for an NCAA tournament bid, said: "We wanted to play good defense. We wanted to, as we call it, 'show hard.' If Walt Williams was going to take that shot, we wanted to contest it."

The Cavaliers did. After passing up the final shot in a similar circumstance earlier this season against Florida State, Williams apparently knew he was going to take the shot. As he went up, Stith left Broadnax and jumped to help Cornel Parker. The shot, at the top of the key, fell a foot short. Williams said he thought he had been fouled.

"I felt someone push me, but unfortunately, nothing was called," said Williams, who scored 23 in the second half. "Those are the breaks."

Gary Williams said: "He's made some big shots for us. He didn't make this one."

The ball fell into the hands of Virginia center Ted Jeffries, and the Cavaliers charged upcourt. With Williams trailing him, Parker drove for the basket, and his shot hit the backboard. And, similar to Williams' tip-in that beat North Carolina last Sunday, there was Burrough.

"Wide-open," said Burrough, a freshman forward who had 13 points and 11 rebounds. "I got my hand on it, but it was lucky."

So might have McLinton's final shot. After taking a perfect 70-foot baseball pass from Kurtis Shultz, McLinton turned and fired. The ball banked hard off the back of the rim and spun out. A collective groan was heard from the crowd of 14,110.

"I thought the ball was going in," McLinton said. "It hurts, but we can't worry about it. We have to start thinking about the ACC tournament."

Ah yes, the ACC tournament. After a year's absence because of its NCAA sanctions, Maryland will return to the Charlotte Coliseum. A combination of North Carolina State's victory yesterday at home over Wake Forest, and Maryland's loss to Virginia, left the eighth-place Terps against last-place Clemson in the play-in game Thursday.

"It should be easy to get up for it because most of the guys haven't played in the ACC tournament," Broadnax said. "I know we're going to be ready."

McLinton said: "Good things happen to those who are patient, and we've been patient for a long time. Look out in the ACC tournament. We're going to be plenty [to handle]."

Virginia Min FG FT R A PF Pts

Burrough 36 6-14 1-1 11 0 3 11

Stith 40 6-16 5-6 4 0 2 18

Jeffries 38 3-8 2-2 11 3 2 8

Oliver 17 5-8 0-0 1 2 4 10

Alexander 31 4-10 5-5 3 2 3 14

Smith 9 0-1 0-0 1 3 0 0

Parker 21 3-5 1-2 6 1 3 8

Barnes 6 2-2 1-2 1 0 0 5

Williford 2 0-0 0-0 0 0 1 0

Totals 200 29-64 15-18 28 14 18 76

Percentages: FG -- .453; FT -- .833. Team rebounds: 1. Three-point goals: 3-8 (Stith 1-3, Alexander 1-2, Parker 1-2, Smith 0-1). Blocked shots: 3 (Jeffries 2, Burrough). Turnovers: 12 (Burroughs 5, Stith 2, Jeffries 2, Alexander 2, Barnes). Steals: 4 (Oliver 2, Jeffries, Parker). Technical fouls: None.

Maryland Min FG FT R A PF Pts

Burns 36 5-11 4-4 4 1 3 14

Broadnax 37 2-6 6-6 5 4 4 10

Kerwin 30 4-6 0-0 8 0 2 8

McLinton 36 3-9 3-5 4 8 3 9

Williams 38 10-25 7-9 8 2 2 31

Downing 7 0-1 0-0 1 1 0 0

Walsh 13 1-2 0-0 3 0 2 2

Bristol 2 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0

Shultz 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0

Totals 200 25-61 20-24 36 16 16 74

Percentages: FG -- .410; FT -- .833. Team rebounds: 1. Three-point goals: 4-12 (Williams 4-10, McLinton 0-1, Downing 0-1). Blocked shots: 5 (Williams 2, Burns, Kerwin, Walsh). Turnovers: 11 (Williams 4, Broadnax 3, Burns, Kerwin, McLinton). Steals: 6 (McLinton 3, Williams 2, Broadnax). Technical fouls: None. Halftime: Virginia, 39-36. A -- 14,110.

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