COLLEGE PARK - The snow that blanketed the University of Maryland campus on Saturday was nothing compared to what the North Carolina State women's basketball team did to the Terps yesterday.
Sophomore guard Shay Doron was handcuffed, scoring just two points on 1-for-12 shooting, and No. 16 Maryland watched its 9-0 start at home fall to the wayside as the visiting Wolfpack romped to a 67-55 win before 4,727 at the Comcast Center.
The 12-point defeat was the Terps' worst Atlantic Coast Conference loss of the season, topping the 77-67 decision to Virginia Tech on Jan. 2.
Maryland coach Brenda Frese called the contest "a disappointing game because we're a better team than what we showed today. The credit goes to N.C. State for taking it at us. ... They're one of the best defensive teams we'll face in the conference."
The Terps (13-4, 3-3 ACC), who dropped into a three-way tie for fifth place with North Carolina and Georgia Tech, converted just 36.7 percent of their field-goal attempts. They also scored a season-low 18 points in the first half - a mark exacerbated by a 16-0 Wolfpack run that spanned 8:04 of the first half.
Doron, who aggravated a strained right shoulder Thursday night against Virginia that she suffered at Georgia Tech on Jan. 13, was clearly not herself as she frequently settled for long jump shots rather than driving into the lane.
"I knew coming in that it was going to be sore," said Doron, who averaged 20.9 points before yesterday and was held to her lowest scoring output since going scoreless against N.C. State on Jan. 2, 2004. "But it's never an excuse to shoot poorly."
Her only field goal of the game 64 seconds into the second half was part of a 14-2 burst that the Terps used to trim a 13-point halftime deficit to 33-32 in favor of the Wolfpack (15-4, 4-2) with 16:08 left in the second half.
But Billie McDowell (a game-high 18 points and nine rebounds) hit a three-pointer 25 seconds later to give the Wolfpack some breathing room, and the Terps never got closer than three the rest of the way.
Freshman center Crystal Langhorne collected a Comcast Center-record 19 rebounds, but she scored 13 points - 3.3 below her season average - and posted just three points in the first half.
Sophomore guard Kalika France registered 11 points, but she and Langhorne were the only Maryland players with double-digit figures in points.
And for the sixth consecutive game, the Terps committed more turnovers than their opponent. Maryland turned the ball over 23 times compared to the Wolfpack's 10.
"Our defense was extraordinary in the first half," said N.C. State coach Kay Yow, whose team has upset three ranked opponents on the road this month (the Terps, No. 23 Virginia Tech on Jan. 17 and then-No. 12 Vanderbilt on Jan. 6). "They helped each other out so very well, and they were very alert to what was going on around them."
NORTH CAROLINA STATE-Dickens 3-6 0-0 6, Stansbury 7-12 2-3 16, McDowell 8-20 0-0 18, Key 1-7 0-0 3, Bell 0-3 0-1 0, Whittington 5-12 6-6 16, Stockdale 3-6 0-0 8, Reaves 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-66 8-10 67. MARYLAND-Perry 3-6 0-0 6, Langhorne 4-11 5-10 13, Doron 1-12 0-0 2, France 5-11 0-1 11, Smith 2-3 3-3 7, Newman 3-7 0-0 8, Carr 1-4 0-0 2, Noirez 3-6 0-0 6. Totals 22-60 8-14 55. Halftime-N.C. State 31, Maryland 18. 3-point goals-N.C. State 5-14 (Stockdale 2-4, McDowell 2-6, Key 1-3, Bell 0-1), Maryland 3-12 (Newman 2-5, France 1-4, Doron 0-3). Fouled out-None. Rebounds-N.C. State 34 (McDowell 9), Maryland 48 (Langhorne 19). Assists-N.C. State 13 (Bell 5), Maryland 18 (Smith 11). Total fouls-N.C. State 16, Maryland 11. A-4,727.