N.C. State ousts Maryland women at buzzer No. 19 Wolfpack pull out controversial win, 63-61

March 02, 1996|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,SUN STAFF

ROCK HILL, S.C. -- Of the nine Atlantic Coast Conference women's basketball coaches, Maryland's Chris Weller may be the happiest to see the league tournament leave here for Charlotte, N.C., next year. The Winthrop Coliseum has held nothing but bad memories for the Terps, including last night's 63-61 loss to No. 19 North Carolina State.

Last night's South Carolina nightmare -- which follows a triple-overtime loss three years ago, and the loss of a 17-point second-half lead the year before -- saw Maryland squander a five-point advantage to the Wolfpack in the final minute, losing the contest and ending the season on a backdoor lay-up by N.C. State's Umeki Webb as the buzzer sounded.

The Terps (13-14) twice made up 10-point deficits to N.C. State, and withstood a 33-point effort from Wolfpack center Chasity Melvin, but ultimately collapsed down the stretch.

"I am not pleased we got down by 10 points. They [the Wolfpack] are just more experienced," said Weller. "Hopefully, we will not be in that situation next year because we will have more experience."

Indeed, the Terps, who had no seniors this season, will have a wealth of experiences from this game alone, in which a non-existent shot-clock violation and a sideline pass helped add to their downfall.

Leading 60-55 with 59 seconds to play, the Terps appeared to have the upset in hand. However, Melvin banked in a shot that appeared to come as the 30-second shot clock expired. There was momentary confusion as the shot dropped in, and one official seemed to rule the shot had come too late, but was overruled.

"It clearly did [come late] to me, but that doesn't matter. I'm the coach. I'm not the referee. Just write what you saw," said Weller.

The Wolfpack fouled freshman guard Kim Bretz, who had a career-high 14 points -- including three three-pointers -- but missed the front end of the one-and-one. Webb then got a lay-in with 25 seconds left to get N.C. State to within one, at 60-59.

Melvin then committed her fifth foul on Rachel Cimmier, who made one of two shots to give Maryland a two-point lead. Webb tied the score at 61 with a banker, giving Maryland the ball with 12 seconds left.

Lillian Purvis missed a baseline jumper, and Cimmier's put-back attempt nearly sailed over the backboard. Purvis was called for the foul on Webb on the rebound, but the 5-foot-10 forward missed the front end of the one-and-one. Maryland's Kelley Gibson grabbed the rebound and called time with two seconds left, which led to the second controversy.

On the ensuing play, Gibson rifled a pass down the sideline near the Maryland bench. Sonia Chase, who had 15 points and 14 rebounds, leaned over the sideline to catch the pass, but the officials ruled she was standing out of bounds when she caught it, giving the ball back to the Wolfpack under their basket, where Webb got the lay-in at the buzzer.

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