Heels hold off Terps, 95-89

February 11, 1994|By Don Markus | Don Markus,Sun Staff Writer

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- It could have been the most stunning upset in an already shocking college basketball season. Instead, it turned into a very encouraging step forward for the University of Maryland and freshman center Joe Smith.

Trailing top-ranked North Carolina by 18 points with a little under nine minutes left here at the half-filled Smith Center last night, the Terrapins threw a major scare into the Tar Heels before succumbing, 95-89.

After Maryland hit six straight shots to cut its deficit to one, 78-77, with a little more than four minutes to go, Smith missed on a drive over Tar Heels 7-footer Kevin Salvadori. North Carolina used that opening to get some breathing room, built its lead back to seven and held on before a nervous crowd of around 11,000 who braved an ice storm.

Smith, who came into the game in the midst of a 15-for-60 slump, wound up leading the Terps with 22 points and 12 rebounds. North Carolina ran off six straight points after Smith's miss, as Maryland committed two straight turnovers by guards Duane Simpkins and Wayne Bristol.

Despite those mistakes, Simpkins and Bristol fueled Maryland's

comeback. Simpkins, who had been struggling badly during his team's recent slump, brought the Terps back with his defense and 15 points. And Bristol, playing because Johnny Rhodes had fouled out with more than seven minutes remaining, finished with a career-high 15 points.

The defeat was the fourth straight in the Atlantic Coast Conference for Maryland (12-7, 5-5), which has to feel better about itself going into tomorrow's game at Florida State. The victory was the seventh straight for North Carolina (20-3, 8-2), 24th in a row at home.

Earlier in the week, the Maryland players talked about not committing turnovers, not letting the Tar Heels dominate the offensive boards and getting off to a good start. The Terps did none of the above last night, and were into their comeback mode pretty quickly.

Exree Hipp traveled on Maryland's opening possession, the first of 10 turnovers the Terps made in the first 8 1/2 minutes and 15 they committed in the first half. North Carolina scored second-chance baskets on its first three possessions, including one after Brian Reese missed three straight free throws.

Trailing by five, 13-8, with a little more than six minutes gone, Maryland succumbed to North Carolina's pressure and size. The Tar Heels reeled off nine straight -- including two on a technical foul on Hipp for hanging on the rim after missing a dunk -- in a 16-5 run that built their lead to 29-16 with 10:30 left in the first half.

To its credit, Maryland climbed back and cut North Carolina's lead back to single digits, 35-26, on a rebound follow by Smith with 6:13 left. After an errant lob pass gave the ball back to the Terps, Bristol missed a three-point shot. Maryland got within nine again, 37-28, on a drive by reserve forward Mario Lucas, but went cold and got sloppy.

The Tar Heels, who had helped Maryland stay in the game by missing 14 of their 21 first-half free throws, took over the boards and the game. They went on another 9-0 run to open up their biggest lead, 46-30, with 1:29 left.

After cutting the deficit to 12 on a layup by Rhodes and a rebound dunk by Smith, Donald Williams hit a floater in the lane. Williams was playing his first game in three weeks after suffering a separated shoulder.

If there was a positive for Maryland in the first half, it was the play of Smith. The 6-10 freshman center, who after a sensational start fell into a 15-for-60 shooting slump, hit five of eight shots to finish the half with 10 points and five rebounds. The Tar Heels had all nine players score, and out-rebounded the Terps 29-16.

ACC STANDINGS Conference Overall

B6 .. .. .. .. .. W .. L .. Pct .. .. W .. .. L .. Pct

Duke . .. .. .. 8 .. 2 .. .800 . .. 17 . .. 2 .. .895

N. Carolina ... 8 .. 2 .. .800 . .. 20 . .. 3 .. .870

Virginia ... .. 6 .. 4 .. .600 . .. 12 . .. 7 .. .632

W. Forest .. .. 5 .. 4 .. .556 . .. 15 . .. 7 .. .682

Maryland ... .. 5 .. 5 .. .500 . .. 12 . .. 7 .. .632

Clemson . .. .. 3 .. 6 .. .333 . .. 12 . . 10 .. .556

Ga. Tech ... .. 3 .. 7 .. .300 . .. 12 . .. 9 .. .571

Fla. St. ... .. 3 .. 7 .. .300 . .. 10 . .. 9 .. .526

N.C. State . .. 3 .. 7 .. .300 . ... 8 . . 13 .. .381

Yesterday's results

Wake Forest 77, Florida St. 69

North Carolina 95, Maryland 89

Tomorrow's games

Clemson at Virginia, noon

Maryland at Florida State, 2 p.m.

Ga. Tech at N. Carolina, 3:30 p.m.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.