Road a dead end for Terrapins in loss to Wolfpack 114-91 ACC defeat 6th in 6 away tries


RALEIGH, N.C. -- Gary Williams called timeout, glared at the overhead scoreboard and saw another Atlantic Coast Conference road loss, Maryland's sixth in six games, staring back. The cause, as might be expected against North Carolina State, was ample and effective use of the three-pointer, which carried the Wolfpack to a 114-91 victory.

But especially stunning was the source of those long-range shots, as Maryland dropped to 15-12, 4-9 in the ACC.

The Terps did a good job containing Rodney Monroe, the league's leading scorer, holding him to 24 points, below his 27.7 average. Nor did the ACC's leading producer of three-pointers in conference games, forward Tom Gugliotta, hurt the Terps.

Instead, a player off N.C. State's supposedly non-existent bench lifted Les Robinson's squad to 18-8, and third in the league with an 8-5 mark.

"They kept trapping and kept leaving me open," said a slightly giddy Migjen Bakalli, a Wolfpack freshman whose eight straight three-pointers effectively turned back the Terps. "I felt good, and they went down. That was pretty much it."

Bakalli's decisive outburst came midway through the second half.

After trailing by 46-40 at halftime, the Terps hung around for much of the second half even though the Wolfpack scored on 10 of its first 13 possessions after halftime. As late as the 12:30 mark, a three-point play by Vince Broadnax, who largely contained Monroe, cut the Wolfpack lead to 69-58.

But Bakalli immediately answered with a three-pointer, Broadnax committed a turnover and Monroe hit a three-pointer at the end of a fast break to push the N.C. State lead to 75-68.

Williams called timeout with 11:54 to go, but the Terps never pulled closer than 15 points thereafter. When he called another timeout with 7:12 left and glared at the scoreboard, his team was down by 24.

"Emotionally, we didn't get in this game tonight," said Williams, whose team was coming off a home victory Saturday over Wake Forest. "For us to be a good basketball team, we have to play with emotion. I think that's one of the things we just have to accept this year, and we just did not do a good job of that tonight."

Williams expressed little surprise at Bakalli's career-high 27-point performance, eclipsing a 15-point effort in the season opener against Florida International. The 6-foot-6 left-hander previously had scored 57 points in a dozen ACC games.

"I've seen guys make threes," Williams said dryly. "I didn't know it was eight. I don't really care. I just know he shot well. It could have been 12 in a row. What's the difference?"

Also in the contest, N.C. State senior Chris Corchiani had 20 assists, tying the conference record previously held by Clemson's Grayson Marshall, who matched that total against Maryland Eastern Shore in 1986. Earlier this week, Corchiani become the modern NCAA career assist leader. He has 992.

For Maryland, the only statistical highlights were Cedric Lewis' four blocks, assuring him the highest per-game average in modern ACC history, and Matt Roe's 22 points.

Both teams started slowly. N.C. State missed five of its first six shots, and the Terrapins scored on only two of their first 10 possessions. Over the first 11 minutes Maryland scored just 15 points, as the Wolfpack built a 25-15 advantage.

Maryland rallied with two quick baskets by Lewis (16 points) and Roe. But Monroe answered, then Bakalli hit his fourth three-pointer, giving N.C. State a 30-19 lead with 7:10 remaining in the half.

With Roe leading the way, the Terps quickly went on a 9-0 run to pull within 30-28 barely a minute and a half later. Bakalli hit his fifth three-pointer to push the lead back to five.

At that, Maryland embarked on another run, fueled by backcourt traps and a pair of baskets by Garfield Smith, to take its only lead of the game after the opening basket. When Roe, who often guarded Bakalli, scored after a steal for the last of his 16 points in the half, Maryland led, 37-33, with 3:23 left until halftime.

But the Terps misfired on their next six possessions, allowing N.C. State to roar back into the lead. Matthew Downing's three-pointer pulled Maryland within six at halftime.

Then in the second half, the Wolfpack began clicking with relentless efficiency, breaking traps with ease and hitting 56 percent of its shots.

"They just moved it up a notch in the second half," Williams said. "I thought they did an excellent job of finding the open man in their offense."

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