No. 9 Wake Forest hung with No. 8 Maryland for a half before the Deacons fell apart during the second half of an 82-60 defeat. The Deacons played with little inspiration during the second half, but coach Jeff Bzdelik suggested it wasn't so much a lack of effort as it was a lack of energy.
The Deacons' C.J. Harris and Travis McKie - the two players on whom Wake Forest has most relied - played the most minutes per game of any players in the ACC.
"It just takes its toll, it really does," Bzdelik said. "It is hard for us to get anything easy down low so we have to work so hard on offense, and we are undersized. ... It's not effort. Their intentions are good. It's just you get a step slower when you get tired."
Only three players - C.J. Harris, Nikita Mescheriakov and Travis McKie - scored for Wake Forest in the first half. The three Deacons trailed Maryland 36-31 at the break.
Maryland guard Terrell Stoglin led the league in scoring this season but was only a second-team All-ACC selection. Stoglin noticed.
"I always have a chip on my shoulder but once the voting came out, I had more of a chip," said Stoglin, who scored 25 points against Wake.
On the trip to Atlanta, Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said he talked to Stoglin about being a good teammate and doing more than just scoring.
"(It means) just doing the little things that end up being big," Stoglin said. "Helping teammates on the defensive end and doing things other than scoring."
Among the many areas of improvement for Wake Forest next season is interior strength. Head coach Jeff Bzdelik said it's imperative that sophomore center Carson Desrosiers and freshman forward Daniel Green add muscle for the Deacons to be able to be effective inside.