Terps keep slipping, fall hard to Wake Seniors irk Williams as ACC mark dips to 0-3 with 77-64 loss

'We have to get better'

Hipp benched

Duncan records triple double

January 14, 1996|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,SUN STAFF

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- In what may have marked the passing of an era, Maryland's reeling basketball team hit rock bottom yesterday.

No sooner had Gary Williams swallowed a desultory 77-64 loss to No. 8 Wake Forest at the Lawrence Joel Memorial Coliseum than the Terps coach threw open the door to an underclass revolution.

"Camp starts Monday," Williams said, his patience with this year's slumping senior-dominated team nearly exhausted.

This was after Williams benched senior Exree Hipp for the second time this season, after Maryland dug itself an 11-0 hole in an embarrassing first half, and after an insignificant second-half run made the final score more respectable than it really was.

Williams looked grim and sounded more so as the Terps (6-6) staggered to an 0-3 start in the Atlantic Coast Conference season -- escaping the cellar only by the grace of Duke's fourth loss of the year, to Virginia.

"We have to get better, no doubt about that," Williams said. "We're not playing well. Our older players, after the last two years, think maybe that things will keep flowing the way they were.

"There comes a time we have to take a stand. Terrell Stokes and LaRon Profit, a couple of freshmen, looked pretty good out there. We've got to take some more looks this week because we have the chance [in a home game Wednesday against nonconference Delaware State].

"It's up to the upperclassmen to step up and make us a better team, or else we have to look at some of the other people."

Stokes became Maryland's first true freshman to start at point guard since Teyon McCoy in the 1986-87 season. Williams moved senior Duane Simpkins to shooting guard and Johnny Rhodes to small forward in a bid to juice up the erratic offense.

Early results were negligible when Wake Forest (10-1, 3-0) hit six three-pointers in the first half -- four by Rusty LaRue -- to open a yawning 33-12 lead over the Terps. Maryland was scoreless for almost the first four minutes and made just three field goals in the first 10 minutes.

"I thought Terrell did a good job after a while," Williams said. "He was nervous at first."

Stokes played a season-high 27 minutes, during which he had three points, four assists, one steal and two turnovers. Profit came off the bench to get two points and three rebounds in 15 minutes.

That left Hipp buried deep on the bench. He did not play in the first half, and entered the game with 12:31 to play in the second half. He was the 10th Terp into the game, ahead of only Matt Raydo and Norman Fields, who made cameo appearances in the final minute.

The benching was the latest low-water mark in a fast-fading senior year for Hipp. He missed a win over Rider because of an academic suspension in December, ending a string of 98 consecutive starts. He did not start against American University the following game, but started the next three.

"It was the coach's decision," Hipp said of his demotion. "Nothing was said to me. We had three days of practice and we were trying different combinations. Terrell got the start, but I didn't figure to sit until the nine-minute mark of the second half.

"I thought I'd come off [the bench] at the 15-minute mark of the first."

Hipp has fought a horrendous shooting slump after two nagging injuries in the preseason. A career 12.8-point scorer coming into the season, he is averaging 6.8 points. He had just two yesterday. In his past six games, he is 1-for-16 from the three-point arc.

"I'm just trying to play basketball the way I've been doing for three years," Hipp said. "People go through shooting slumps."

Keith Booth led Maryland with 16 points before fouling out. Mario Lucas came off the bench to score 13. Rhodes had 12 and Simpkins, hitting four of 10 shots, had 10.

It wasn't nearly enough to offset the first triple double of Tim Duncan's illustrious Wake career. Duncan had 14 points, 15 rebounds and 10 blocked shots. Maryland held Duncan down, but at the expense of allowing LaRue 19 points from long distance.

Williams was left in a quandary. He said he expected his upperclassmen to meet the challenge of replacing Joe Smith -- and said it hasn't happened.

"I didn't know we'd be 6-6, but I knew it'd be tough," Williams said. "It was hard to get these players to realize how much [Smith] complemented their game. We've had trouble adjusting.

"Rhodes has stepped it up, but that's about it."

Next for Maryland

Opponent: Delaware State

Site: Cole Field House, College Park

When: Wednesday, 8 p.m.

Record: 3-9

Yesterday: Lost to Coppin State, 92-77.

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