Breaking Away In The Closing Minutes
Maryland and N.C. State each made its own extended runs in the first half of last night's game. The Wolfpack built a 13-point lead. The Terrapins brought the score back to a tie by the intermission.
But the second half served much more as a tug of war. There were 17 lead changes after halftime with neither team able to create much separation until the closing minutes.
With just more than three minutes remaining, Greivis Vasquez sank a three-pointer that put Maryland up by four. It was the first time in over 10 minutes of play that either team held more than a one-possession lead. Not that that provided much comfort for Gary Williams.
"We got it past a one-possession game, but the thing is N.C. State shoots threes so well and they’re not afraid to fire them from about four different guys out there on the court," Williams said. "At the same time, I didn’t feel secure with a four-point lead. I thought they made some great shots in the second half, just like we did. We knew we had to play defense even though we were up by four, but it did give us a slight cushion."
From that point forward, Maryland never trailed by less than four. N.C. State began fouling on the Terps' next possession, and Eric Hayes proceeded to sink six of eight free throws to put the game away.
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