Williams says 300th just another ACC win

January 23, 1995|By Don Markus | Don Markus,Sun Staff Writer

RALEIGH, N.C. -- There was no Gatorade shower for Gary Williams yesterday, or even a stray bucket of ice. Winning his 300th career game meant only one thing to the University of Maryland basketball coach.

"It means we won another one on the road in the ACC," Williams said after his eighth-ranked Terrapins beat North Carolina State, 84-67, at Reynolds Coliseum.

Consistent with his style, Williams downplayed the achievement, saying it was more a byproduct of the programs and players he had coached at American University, Boston College, Ohio State and now at Maryland.

"I've been pretty fortunate," said Williams, who will turn 50 later this season.

But the victory was typical of many during his 17-year career. As much as the Terps beat the Wolfpack with terrific execution, they also won with a solid and somewhat surprising game plan.

It certainly surprised N.C. State coach Les Robinson.

"I was expecting them to pressure us for 40 minutes," said Robinson. "That's what we prepared for. When they didn't pick us up for 45 feet [until halfcourt] it kind of threw us out of sync. I knew it threw me out of sync. We got to halfcourt and we didn't know what to do."

What N.C. State did was miss most of its shots, making only 26 of 68 overall and six of 21 on threes. Junior guard Lakista McCuller, the team's leading scorer, was only 1-for-9 and didn't get his first field goal until there were a little more than eight minutes left.

"We wanted to pressure their perimeter people, and I thought Duane Simpkins did a tremendous job on McCuller and Exree made it difficult for [Ishua] Benjamin [6-for-15] to get his shots," said Williams. "They had hurt us before in transition."

The victory came in Williams' 500th career game as a head coach.

Someone joked that Williams needed about 500 or so more to catch up with North Carolina's Dean Smith, the game's active winningest coach.

"Hey, I'm on my way," said Williams.

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