Terps women rout Wake, 80-65 Boles' 21 shred Deacons' zone

February 28, 1993|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,Staff Writer

COLLEGE PARK -- Wake Forest women's basketball coach Karen Freeman knew that virtually anything she tried against 12th-ranked Maryland would be a crap shoot.

She could hope star freshman center Tracy Connor could guard Jessie Hicks in a man-to-man defense, or go with the predictable and defend the Terps in a zone.

Freeman chose the zone, and guard Malissa Boles made the Deacons pay, scoring 21 points -- 16 in the second half -- to lead Maryland to an 80-65 victory before 2,345 at Cole Field House.

Boles, who with Hicks, Katrina Colleton and Monica Bennett, played her final regular-season home game, was sharp from the perimeter, making nine of 13 shots, on an evening when outside shots were there for the taking. She also had six assists.

"They played the same zone [in the teams' first meeting], but we moved the ball faster," said Boles. "Down there, we were clogged in and bunched all over each other. This week, we worked on our spacing and it paid off."

Freeman said: "There were opportunities in that zone and that's where someone like Malissa can really hurt you. We were a bunch of sitting ducks in that zone, and it was up to Malissa to take advantage. Much to her credit, she really stepped it up."

With the win, the Terps (20-6, 11-5) claimed the second seed in next weekend's Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Rock Hill, S.C., and will meet Florida State, the seventh seed, in a 1 p.m. quarterfinal game.

Boles' hot shooting freed the inside for Hicks, who responded with 18 points and 11 rebounds, a vast improvement over the 10 points and three rebounds she produced in Maryland's 67-65 loss at Winston-Salem three weeks ago.

Connor, the all-but-certain league Rookie of the Year who set a Wake Forest season scoring record, gave Hicks a healthy challenge to start, with 11 points and seven rebounds in the first half.

Hicks had six points and two rebounds and was reminded of Connor's play at halftime by Maryland coach Chris Weller.

"I was told that I had just two rebounds [at halftime]," said Hicks. "I just tried to focus on rebounding and boxing her out and all the little things."

As a result, Connor had seven points and two rebounds after halftime.

Weller said, "Jessie did an outstanding job against Connor, and that was really critical for us in terms of applying pressure to their perimeter."

The Terps' overall defensive effort was excellent, despite Wake's 55 percent shooting, limiting the Deacons (13-13, 4-12) to three three-pointers, all in the first half.

Maryland appeared to have learned from the first meeting, when the Deacons connected eight times from three-point range.

"I think, at the time [of the first game], they were thinking: 'Oh, here's little Wake Forest. We can come in and get our win and be on our way,' " said Connor. "But I think that after that game, they realized that they had to come out and earn it."

In the first half, Wake shot 56 percent from the floor and the Terps hit 63 percent.

The Deacons, who upset then-No. 7 Maryland early this month by two points, looked on target for another shocker early. Guard Nicole Levesque hit two three-pointers in the first five minutes and Connor connected inside to give Wake a 17-14 lead with 13:31 left.

The teams traded the lead for six minutes before the Terps closed the half with a 13-6 run that gave them a 39-33 lead at the break.

ACC women's standings

6,.. .. .. .. .. Conf. .. .. .. .. .. Overall

.. .. .. .. .. ..W .. .. .. L .. .. W .. L .. .. .. Pct.

Virginia .. .. ..13 .. .. ..3 .. .. 21 ..5 .. .. .. .808

Maryland .. .. ..11 .. .. ..5 .. .. 20 ..6 .. .. .. .769

North Carolina ..11 .. .. ..5 .. .. 21 ..5 .. .. .. .808

Georgia Tech .. ..8 .. .. ..8 .. .. 16 ..9 .. .. .. 640

Clemson .. .. .. .8 .. .. ..8 .. .. 16 ..9 .. .. .. 640

N.C. State .. .. .8 .. .. ..8 .. .. 14.. 12 .. .. ...538

Florida State .. .5.. .. ..10 .. .. 12 ..13 .. .. .. 480

Wake Forest .. .. 4 .. .. .12 .. .. 13 ..13 .. .. .. 500

Duke .. .. .. .. 3 .. .. .12 .. .. 12 ..13 .. .. .. 480

Yesterday's results

Maryland 80, Wake Forest 65

Virginia 76, North Carolina State 75

North Carolina 70, Clemson 63

Today's game

Duke at Florida State

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