Terps Advance In ACC Tourney With 74-69 Win Over Wolfpack
N.C. State hit seven of its first 10 shots and led by 13 points with nine minutes left in the first half. Then Eric Hayes sank a three-pointer from the wing (it became a bit of a trend) and sparked a Maryland run that had the score tied by halftime.
Hayes's performance from beyond the arc was outstanding, though other Terrapins contributed to their 56.3 percent performance from three-point range, as well. The second half was a back-and-forth affair, but in the end, Maryland prevailed.
"They almost blew us away there early in that game, so we had to fight hard to get back," Gary Williams said. "And that’s what makes this win special is that we played against a team that’s playing pretty well. We were able to get back into it and then just stay tough until we could win the game."
With the win, Maryland's hopes of returning to the NCAA tournament remain alive. Now, the Terps must face Wake Forest, the tournament's No. 2 seed, on Friday night.
1) Eric Hayes. What everyone who watched the game knew was that Hayes had his best night (scoring-wise, at least) of the season. He shot 5 for 6 from three-point range and finished with a game-high 21 points. What very few people who watched the game knew was that Hayes was competing with a very heavy heart. Earlier in the day, Chip Lozinak, a longtime friend of the Hayes family, passed away due to complications from a surgical procedure. Lozinak was the best friend of Kendall Hayes, Eric's father, and had known Eric his entire life. Eric wrote "RIP CHIP" on the toes of both his shoes as a visual tribute to a close friend who's life was cut far too short.
"We miss him," Hayes said. "But I know he was watching tonight."
2) Zone offense. It was no secret Maryland had been struggling against zone defenses, but the Terrapins took a liking to the 2-3 scheme N.C. State attempted to implement. The Terrapins found nearly every hole imaginable in the Wolfpack's zone and attacked them accordingly. Three-point shots. Mid-range jumpers. Lay-ins. By the end of the first half, N.C. State had reverted back to man-to-man defense, but all that did was allow Greivis Vasquez space to drive and dish to open teammates. Maryland shot 47.2 percent from the field on the night.
3) Dino Gregory. In addition to a monster block Gregory had in transition, the sophomore forward provided the Terps defense with an energy boost from the moment he stepped on the court until the moment he left. He finished with six points, seven rebounds and a pair of blocks in 23 minutes.
1) Guarding Julius Mays. There were times when it seemed as though no Maryland player was. Mays tallied 18 points on 7 of 15 shooting and was a major reason why the Wolfpack was able to keep up with the Terps in the second half.
2) First half turnovers. Both teams were sloppy before the intermission, which led to a pretty ugly 20 minutes of play. Landon Milbourne tallied three turnovers to lead the Terps. To Maryland's credit, it recorded zero turnovers in the second half. That's a pretty solid accomplishment.
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