Terps overmatched, out-rebounded in 87-76 loss to North Carolina

Freshman Stoglin's career-high 28 points, double double by Williams not enough for Maryland

  • North Carolina's Justin Knox and Maryland's Cliff Tucker fight for the ball in the first half.
North Carolina's Justin Knox and Maryland's Cliff… (Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE,…)
February 27, 2011|By Jeff Barker, The Baltimore Sun

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Maryland's hopes of finally knocking off a nationally ranked team fell Sunday night under the weight of second, third and fourth chances by a North Carolina team that treated the offensive boards as its own personal plaything.

The No. 19 Tar Heels entered the game as the Atlantic Coast Conference's best offensive and defensive rebounding team -- and it showed.

North Carolina had 15 offensive rebounds -- and that was just in the first half -- en route to an 87-76 victory that dealt a blow to Maryland's chances of securing an NCAA tournament bid.

Maryland was led by freshman Terrell Stoglin's career-best 28 points. Stoglin has topped 20 points in three of the past four games. The Tar Heels were led by Tyler Zeller's 25 points. Maryland made only two 3-pointers in the game.

The Terps (18-11, 7-7 ACC) got a career-high 19 rebounds from Jordan Williams, who said he was battling a stomach illness and slept only a few hours the night before the game. "I was throwing up all night. I was just trying to push through [during the game]," the sophomore said.

It couldn't have helped Williams' stomach to watch the dizzying parade of Tar Heels under the boards. The Heels finished with 20 offensive rebounds.

Maryland was trying to win its third game in a row -- but its first against a ranked opponent. The Terps have endured single-digit defeats to Duke, Pittsburgh, Villanova, Temple and Illinois -- all nationally ranked this season at one time. The Terps had looked to the North Carolina game as a chance to make a late-season statement that they have improved.

Maryland has two regular-season games remaining before the ACC tournament. "It'd be nice to go in there [to the ACC tournament] with a couple wins and see what happens," Maryland coach Gary Williams said.

A first-half sequence told the story. The Tar Heels (22-6, 12-2) got four offensive rebounds from four players. Their efforts led to a field goal and a 10-point lead.

Williams might have been recalling that sequence -- it could have been another -- when he said, "I think they had five or six offensive rebounds in one play in front of our bench.

"Early on, I felt it wasn't one of our better starts in terms of our effort," the coach said. "We just couldn't get it tonight in a game we wanted to win. I think Carolina right now is top 15, top 12 in the country."

The Terps tried various strategies against the 7-foot Zeller, the 6-10 John Henson and the 6-8 Harrison Barnes in the front court. Maryland played 6-8 sophomore James Padgett more than usual and also tried 6-10 transfer Berend Weijs for a few minutes.

When Jordan Williams -- Maryland's leading scorer and the ACC's rebounding leader -- picked up his third foul two minutes into the second half, Maryland had little choice but to leave him in. He fouled out in the final minute with 16 points.

North Carolina's rebounding advantage limited Maryland's ability to get out and run. "You think you're about to get a transition basket and they get a rebound," said Stoglin, who shot 11-for-20 and was again a bright spot for the Terps.

"He's a tough little guy," Gary Williams said. "He really has grown up playing against big people."

The Tar Heels led 43-31 after a first half in which they shot just 34.7 percent but used 15 offensive rebounds to get multiple second chances.

The Terps cut the margin to 54-47 on a field goal by Stoglin. But a lay-in by Barnes and an ensuing jumper pushed the lead back to 62-49 with 12:26 left.

Maryland's last chance came on a 3-pointer by Sean Mosley (St. Frances) that trimmed the margin to 82-74 with 1:46 left.

The Terps then stole the ball before Stoglin committed a turnover.

"It was a hard-fought game against a club that I really like, and I think that Gary always does a good job -- we call him wacko for a reason -- but he really is a very good friend and a big-time coach," North Carolina coach Roy Williams said.

North Carolina hurt the Terps on the offensive boards immediately. The Tar Heels had multiple second chances in taking a 13-5 lead. Maryland scored the next eight points, tying it on a steal and breakaway dunk by Mosley.

jeff.barker@baltsun.com

twitter.com/sunjeffbarker

An earlier version of this article misspelled the name of Maryland's Berend Weijs. The Sun regrets the error.

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