Originally created 02/11/99

No. 7 Maryland tramples N.C. State



RALEIGH, N.C. -- It was closer to a halftime score for No. 7 Maryland, but the run-and-gun Terrapins will gladly pocket their 63-50 victory over North Carolina State on Wednesday night.

Maryland (21-4, 9-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) was held 24 points under its scoring average, but had enough offense down the stretch when it counted to beat the Wolfpack for the 10th straight time in the regular season.

The Terrapins played without senior center Obinna Ekezie, who ruptured his right Achilles' tendon in practice Tuesday night and is lost for the season.

Terence Morris picked up the slack, scoring 17 points and grabbing a career-high 16 rebounds. Kenny Inge led N.C. State (15-9, 5-7) with 14 points.

N.C. State trailed by as many as 13 points in the first half after shooting a miserable 23 percent, but closed within one twice in the second half, the last time with 12:03 left on two free throws by Anthony Grundy.

But then shoddy ballhandling did the Wolfpack in again against the Terrapins. Two turnovers led to slam dunks by Laron Profit and Steve Francis -- their first baskets of the second half -- as Maryland took a 43-35 lead with 7 1/2 minutes left.

Inge made two free throws before the Terrapins increased their lead to double digits as Danny Miller, Morris and Profit scored on layups.

N.C. State got no closer than seven points the rest of the way as Maryland hit six straight free throws over the final 1:16.

The Wolfpack missed 19 of their first 22 shots to fall behind 24-11, going through stretches of eight minutes and 5 1/2 minutes without baskets in a putrid shooting display that matched a season-low point total for a half.

Justin Gainey, coming off a career-high 28 points on a perfect 7-for-7 shooting from the field and 10-for-10 from the line in a weekend win over Clemson, was shut out in the opening 20 minutes.

N.C. State didn't approach the inept ballhandling it displayed in a 94-48 loss at Maryland on Jan. 10 that resulted in a 31-turnover game, but the team's half-court offense was totally out of sync as Maryland applied trapping pressure.

However, the Terrapins couldn't put the Wolfpack away as N.C. State closed the half with a 9-2 run to trail 26-20. One of Maryland's main threats came from an unlikely source -- reserve Brian Watkins who came into the game with two points in ACC play but chipped in with seven in the first half as Mike Mardesich got into foul trouble.