Mouton makes point but gets technical, UM's first of season

Senior touches referee after complaining he was grabbed by ankle


ACC Tournament

March 09, 2002|By Gary Lambrecht and Christian Ewell | Gary Lambrecht and Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Maryland senior forward Byron Mouton was trying to make a point. He just forgot that you are not allowed to touch a referee while doing it.

And with 2:01 left in the first half of yesterday's 85-59 rout over Florida State in the ACC tournament quarterfinals, the Terps absorbed their first technical foul of the season.

"I was going after the ball, and [a Florida State player] grabbed my ankle," Mouton said. "I went over to the ref and said, `Hey, that's a foul.' He said, `Hey, you can't touch me.' I was frustrated, but he's right. I can't touch him. Whatever, man."

The play did not affect the game. The Terps were ahead, 37-24, then took a 12-point lead into halftime. And it wasn't as if Mouton jerked the official in an angry manner.

"We've done a real good job of keeping our cool, especially under pressure," junior forward Tahj Holden said. "This is something new, just another thing. Just when I thought I'd seen it all this year."

Bench bunch

The Terps got production from a variety of backup players. Holden, Ryan Randle and Drew Nicholas, the backbone of their bench, combined for 13 points, four rebounds, three assists and three blocked shots.

But Maryland got a rare first-half appearance from reserve guard Calvin McCall (two points), and got its most productive showing of the season from freshman point guard Andre Collins.

"Even though I haven't had that much playing time, I don't feel like a freshman," said Collins, after scoring eight points in five minutes on 3-for-3 shooting from the field and 2-for-2 at the foul line.

There is speculation that Collins is considering transferring from Maryland, since the Terps are bringing in blue-chip recruit John Gilchrist, who will compete with Steve Blake next year.

Wolfpack revival

The success of North Carolina State this season, with a 21-9 record and a likely trip to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1991, comes despite what would have been signs of failure.

After a 13-16 season, coach Herb Sendek went into this season with five freshmen. The keys have been seniors Anthony Grundy and Archie Miller.

"The leadership that Anthony and Archie gave us was simply outstanding," Sendek said of the two, who combined for 29 second-half points. "As they have all season, our younger guys have been able to gain assurance from their leadership."

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