Last-second shot gives Maryland 51-50 win over N.C. State

jgiglio@newsobserver.comJanuary 17, 2013 

— If N.C. State played its last ACC basketball game at Maryland on Wednesday, the Wolfpack won't be in a hurry to schedule the Terrapins once they leave for the Big Ten.

With a last-second basket from forward Alex Len, Maryland beat No. 14 N.C. State 51-50 on Wednesday for the 19th time in 21 home games.

None of the previous Wolfpack losses in Maryland ended like this. The Wolfpack (14-3, 3-1 ACC) was a “finger tip” away from its first 4-0 ACC start in 39 years, coach Mark Gottfried said. Instead, its 10-game winning streak was stopped by a tip-in.

Three N.C. State defenders, including forward C.J. Leslie, contested Maryland (14-3, 2-2) guard Pe’Shon Howard's runner as the clock wound down. Howard's shot fell short but Len deposited the rebound with 0.9 second left for Maryland's 10th win in 11 games against N.C. State.

“I loved our effort and really the game comes down to a finger tip,” Gottfried said. “Calvin was right there and if he tips that last shot, the game's probably over in our favor.”

Junior guard Lorenzo Brown (17 points, eight rebounds, four assists) put N.C. State in position to win what could be its last trip to College Park. The Terps are set to leave the ACC after the 2013-14 season and there's no guarantee State will have to travel back to the Comcast Center next season.

Brown’s pullup jumper over Maryland guard Nick Faust with 1:41 left in the game gave N.C. State a 50-49 lead.

N.C. State forward Richard Howell doubled-down on Len on Maryland’s next possession and stole the ball, giving the Pack a chance to put the game away.

Scott Wood, who finished 3 of 13 from the floor, missed two shots in the final 45 seconds, even after an offensive rebound by Howell (13 rebounds) gave him a second chance.

Wood missed a contested 3-pointer from the top of the key and then an open 12 footer from the left baseline.

“I just didn't shoot well,” said Wood, who finished with nine points. “That's my fault. I need to get in the gym and shoot more.”

Len (10 points, six rebounds) scored Maryland's final six points of the game. His alley-oop with 2:13 left gave the Terps a 49-48 lead prior to Brown's jumper.

Maryland led 40-31 midway through the second half before a zone defense discombobulated its offense. While Maryland struggled, Wood heated up. Wood’s 3-pointer with 8:30 left got the Pack going, cutting Maryland’s lead to 42-38.

Brown answered a 3-pointer from Maryland freshman Seth Allen with one of his own to pull State within 45-43. Howell tied the scored at 45 on a putback with 5:17 to play.

Wood banged another 3 at 4:37 to give State its first lead of the game, 48-45. It was a far cry from the first half when State missed its first seven shots and went more than 6 minutes to start the game without a basket.

Maryland led by as many as 10 in the first half and nine in the second half but State came back to hold the lead until the final second.

N.C. State knocked off No. 1 Duke on Saturday and came into College Park on a 10-game winning streak. Historically, State has had problems following up a win over either Duke or North Carolina. 

Since the start of the 1992-93 season, the Pack has followed up a regular-season win over Duke or UNC with another ACC win just once in 14 games. Maryland has often been on the other end of the Duke/UNC hangover handing State six of those 13 losses.

Brown said none of Wednesday's loss had to do with what happened against Duke.

“It came down to a last-second shot,” Brown said. “(Howard) shot an airball but Len did his job and cleaned up the miss.”

Giglio: 919-829-8938

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