N.C. State ousts Terps women

Leading scorer Strickland is held to five points in 74-61 ACC quarterfinal loss

College Basketball

March 04, 2001|By James Giza | James Giza,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Marche Strickland sat in the locker room last night, surrounded by her Maryland teammates and a deathly silence. She smiled as a reporter approached her and said it was OK to ask her a few questions.

After a 2-for-12 shooting performance in a 74-61 loss to N.C. State in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, she knew what was coming. The only thing that looked more forced than her shot that night was her post-game grin.

"It was just one of those nights -- just off," said the junior shooting guard, who went scoreless in the second half and finished with five points. "Everybody has them, so I guess this night was my night."

And as Maryland's leading scorer went, so went the sixth-seeded Terps. Junior forward Deedee Warley scored a game-high 26 points, but she disappeared for a large chunk of the second half as the third-seeded Wolfpack began to find holes in Maryland's 3-2 defense and turned a game that was sloppy and low-scoring early into a decisive win in front of 7,214 at Greensboro Coliseum.

N.C. State's victory avenged two regular-season losses to the Terps, including a 75-54 defeat at College Park on Feb. 25.

Wolfpack center Carisse Moody led her team with 22 points, 20 of which came in the second half, plus nine rebounds and a 12-for-14 night at the free-throw line.

"They were different. I thought they were real patient getting the ball inside," Maryland coach Chris Weller said. "They did a better job of getting it into Moody. But we prepared for that all week. We knew that was going to be their key."

After a first half marred by a combined 19 turnovers and missed shots on both ends, the Wolfpack (19-9) went on a 17-4 run a little more than five minutes into the second half to push a 21-21 halftime tie to a 38-25 lead.

By the time the first timeout of the half was called with 11:07 left, the Wolfpack had outscored the Terps 27-11 and possessed a commanding 48-32 lead.

Warley, who was named third-team All-ACC earlier in the week, almost single-handedly kept Maryland in the game in the first half, dropping in 12 points and grabbing four rebounds. But in the second half, she suffered a stretch of nearly 15 minutes without scoring.

The loss clouds the postseason picture for the Terps, placing them delicately on the bubble of teams that have a chance to be selected with an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.

Aside from twice defeating N.C. State, currently ranked No. 21, the Terps also twice beat Clemson, ranked 25th, and earned ACC wins against Wake Forest (twice) and Georgia Tech to finish the conference season at 8-8. Maryland is 18-13 overall.

"We're about as much on the bubble as you can get," Weller said. "I think we still have a chance for it. ... I think six of our teams [in the conference] should go, and I think we're definitely one of those six."

MARYLAND--Razor 1-3 1-2 3, Warley 7-16 12-12 26, Melbourne 1-4 3-4 5, Strickland 2-12 1-1 5, Wimbush 2-4 0-0 5, Daniels 3-9 0-0 8, Jenkins 0-1 0-0 0, Harrell 1-3 0-0 2, Washington 1-3 5-6 7. Totals 18-55 22-25 61. N.C. STATE--Bates 2-5 5-5 9, Scates 3-3 1-2 7, Moody 5-7 12-14 22, Lewis 5-9 2-2 14, Gardner 6-8 1-2 14, Rivers 0-2 0-0 0, Olanrewaju 0-3 0-0 0, Labador 1-2 0-0 3, Simpson 0-4 1-2 1, Greene 1-2 1-1 4. Totals 23-45 23-28 74.

Halftime--Tied, 21-21. 3-point goals--Maryland 3-11 (Daniels 2-5, Wimbush 1-3, Strickland 0-3), N.C. State 5-14 (Lewis 2-5, Gardner 1-1, Greene 1-1, Labador 1-2, Simpson 0-2, Bates 0-3). Fouled out--Razor, Scates. Rebounds--Maryland 32 (Warley 8), N.C. State 33 (Moody 9). Assists--Maryland 14 (Razor, Daniels 4), N.C. State 14 (Bates 4). Total fouls--Maryland 23, N.C. State 22. A--7,214.

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