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Contacts help Terps' Williams find focus


COLLEGE PARK -- Walt Williams carried the secret with him through his seven-game shooting streak. When somebody asked whether he was doing anything different the past three weeks, when he had shot 60 percent from the field and hit more than 55 percent of his three-pointers, Williams would shrug and smile and give the most politically correct answer he could find.

"I'm doing the same thing I always did," he said as recently as Friday. "I'm just shooting it better."

As it turned out, Williams began wearing contact lenses, starting with the Jan. 11 game against North Carolina State. It coincided with the first game of a streak in which Williams scored at least 30 points, a streak that ended with a 21-point performance in yesterday's 67-65 loss to No. 24 Georgia Tech at Cole Field House.

"Quite a coincidence, isn't it?" said Williams, who became the ACC's leading scorer during the streak.

The only reason Williams' secret was exposed was that he lost one of his lenses Friday night. The new set may have to be examined, because Williams shot six of 18 against the Yellow Jackets, only one of seven on three-pointers. The end of the 30-point-or-more streak left him one game shy of tying Len Chappell's ACC record of eight straight games.

"It was just a bad game," Williams said.

And some good defense by the Yellow Jackets, who used three players on Williams through the game. After he made his first shot, a three-pointer, he didn't make another outside jumper the rest of the game. He went four of 13 in the first half, and took only five shots in the second half.

"We were face-guarding him," said Georgia Tech guard Jon Barry, who drew most of the responsibility on Williams. "We denied him the ball, and we didn't let him have any easy shots. We didn't want him to get a good look at the basket."

Williams had a good look yesterday. A good touch is another matter.

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