Since Maryland athletic director Debbie Yow took over six years ago, she and her sister Kay, the women's basketball coach at N.C State, have always found time for lunch on Kay's visits to Maryland.
Debbie Yow was out of town yesterday on Atlantic Coast Conference business, but her sister still found Cole Field House hospitable enough, escaping with a 74-66 win over the Terps.
"Sometimes, when you play family, that makes it even tougher. This is the first time I've ever played here that we didn't spend some time together," said Kay Yow.
The 11th-ranked Wolfpack (19-4, 10-2 in the ACC) battled back from an 11-point second half deficit for its fourth straight league win and remained tied with Virginia atop the league standings.
The Terps (13-10, 4-8), meanwhile, stayed tied with North Carolina for sixth place, and quite likely saw whatever flickering hopes they had at an NCAA tournament at-large bid fade away.
"If you focus on that [a tournament bid], then the odds are slim and you might as well fold up your tent and go home," said Maryland coach Chris Weller. "Our focus is to be the best team we can be. I think we get better and better each time we step on the court."
Indeed, the Terps, who dropped a 71-52 decision to the Wolfpack in Raleigh in January, played impressively for most of the contest, hitting eight of their first 10 shots and taking a six-point lead at the half.
But N.C. State, which had five players score in double figures, shifted out of its traditional man-to-man midway through the second half and into a 2-3 zone that bogged Maryland's offense down and forced the Terps into poor shots.
Northeastern 63, Towson 45: Tesha Tinsley (Western) scored 21 points, including the 2,000th of her career, to power the host Huskies (13-9, 8-4) past the Tigers (6-15, 4-9) in America East Conference action.
Elizabethtown 69, Western Maryland 49: Senior guard Jess Goldstein scored a career-high 19, as the visiting Blue Jays (20-4)rolled to a non-league win over the host Green Terror (10-10).
Mary Washington 68, Villa Julie 51: Erin Caufield scored her 1,000th career point, as the host Eagles (12-7) downed the Mustangs (3-16) in Fredericksburg, Va.