Duke a royal pain for UM Hipp: Terps will end drought vs. Coach K

March 08, 1996|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,SUN STAFF

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The odds, at long last, are falling in Gary Williams' favor.

After losing two games to injury-riddled, undermanned Duke during the regular season, the Maryland Terrapins are due.

After losing 14 consecutive games to Duke's Mike Krzyzewski in face-to-face meetings, Williams, the Maryland coach, is way overdue.

Those streaks serve as the backdrop to the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament quarterfinal today at noon between Duke and Maryland at the Greensboro Coliseum.

As if losing by 10 in Durham, N.C., wasn't bad enough, the Terps (16-11) lost by two last week at home to the Blue Devils (18-11) on a last-second three-point shot by Ricky Price.

Williams called it a "devastating" loss. Exree Hipp called it payback time. "We've got a little payback for them on Friday," Maryland's small forward told the crowd at Cole Field House after his final home game.

Later, Hipp endorsed the theme that it is difficult to beat a team three times in one season.

"I don't think they're capable of beating us three times," Hipp said. "We should have [won] the game at home. We let it get away from us."

Since that game on Feb. 28, Duke has lost point guard Chris Collins to a badly sprained right foot. He injured it for the second time this season in Duke's regular-season finale Sunday against North Carolina.

Krzyzewski doesn't expect him to play. Collins, who scored 27 last week against Maryland, said he won't go unless he's 100 percent.

While Collins practiced yesterday, two other wounded Devils did not -- Stan Brunson (ankle) and Carmen Wallace (knee). These injuries all come on the heels of an off-season leg problem that cost Duke the services of its best player, Trajan Langdon.

"We've had adversity," Krzyzewski said. "But the most adversity facing us is Maryland, probably as hungry a basketball team as you could have going into the ACC tournament. With four seniors who've been to the Sweet 16, they'll be difficult to deal with."

With Collins probably out, the Blue Devils will start Steve Wojciechowski, of Cardinal Gibbons, at point guard.

"Nobody can afford to lose a player of that ability," Williams said of Collins. "But at the same time, Duke has been very resourceful this year. . . . I'm sure that would be a rallying point for playing us."

Williams may have his own rallying point. His only wins over Duke since returning to Maryland as head coach in 1989 came with last year's sweep. But Krzyzewski missed both those games -- and most of the season -- with a back ailment. (Oddly enough, Williams missed the second win with pneumonia.)

While at Maryland, Williams hasn't beaten Krzyzewski in head-to-head battles in 14 games. He did beat Krzyzewski, however, the first time the two coaches met.

In the 1985 NCAA tournament, Williams coached Boston College to a 74-73 win over Krzyzewski's Duke team to reach the Sweet 16.

When Williams was asked this week if his record against Krzyzewski was a stigma, the Maryland coach pointed to the advantage in talent Duke had during its golden era with Grant Hill, Christian Laettner and Bobby Hurley.

"I beat Duke when I was at BC to go to the Sweet 16," Williams said. "We had [NCAA] sanctions when I came to Maryland. I don't feel any stigma. I feel three years there, we didn't have a chance to beat Duke. I don't have any stigma because we beat Duke [within] the last two years."

Now, though, the talent shoe is on the other foot. The Terps have won 10 of their past 15 games, including two in a row after the Duke loss, to keep their NCAA tournament hopes alive.

"We're really clicking right now," Maryland point guard Duane Simpkins said. "We've just got to continue to focus."

The Terps have designs on reaching the championship game for the first time since 1984, when they won the tournament.

"I definitely think we're going to handle our business down there and advance past the second round," Hipp said.

Pub Date: 3/08/96

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