COLLEGE PARK, MD Jan. 16, 2013 – Maryland sophomore center Alex Len put back teammate Pe’Shon Howard’s missed shot for a game-winning basket, as the Terrapins handed No. 14 NC State its first ACC loss of the season Wednesday night, with a 51-50 upset at the Comcast Center.
“Offensively, we were pretty bad. We bobbled balls, we had shots around the rim we couldn’t make,” said head coach Mark Gottfried. “The one play late in the second half, Richard had at it under the rim and just lost it out of bounds. It was one of those nights; you’re going to have those.”
Both teams struggled from the field all night, but the Wolfpack (14-3 overall, 3-1 ACC) finally took the lead on a Scott Wood 3-pointer with 4:30 to play. The two teams traded leads in the final moments, but the Wolfpack was ahead 50-49 in the final minute, thanks to junior Lorenzo Brown’s fallaway jumper with 1:39 remaining.
“I was just staying aggressive and playing team ball,” Brown said. “[My team] really helped me get to where I needed to be on the floor.”
After Len lost the ball to NC State senior center Richard Howell’s strip under the Maryland basketball, Howell was called for his fourth foul of the game on the other end of the floor with 12.4 seconds to play, giving the ball back to Maryland (14-3, 2-2) for the final possession.
Brown fouled with 5.2 seconds to play, but it was only the Pack’s sixth foul of the second half and the Terps took the ball out of bounds. After a timeout, Howard put up a contested shot on the baseline that missed the rim, but Len was there to put it back in with 0.9 seconds to play.
State had one last shot to win the game, but Howell’s shot from 18-feet fell short.
“Obviously it’s disappointing,” said Gottfried. “I think the guys played really hard, and I thought we battled as hard as we could battle on a night where offensively, we couldn’t do a lot of things right. I loved our effort and really the game just comes down to a fingertip.
The Pack was led by Brown’s 17 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Howell had eight points and 13 rebounds, his fourth consecutive double-digit rebounding game in ACC play.
Junior C.J. Leslie ad 13 points for his 13th consecutive double-digit scoring game of the season.
In a game in which both teams struggled to make baskets, the Wolfpack shot only 31.1 percent from the field, the worst shooting game of the season for a team that entered the contest as the national leader in field-goal percentage. The Terps shot just 34.4 percent from the field on the night.
State, coming off its victory Saturday afternoon against top-ranked Duke, started slowly in the game, falling behind 8-0 before the first official timeout.
The Pack went 10 possessions before Howell ended his team’s scoring drought with a layup nearly six minutes into the game. The Terps, which missed their first four 3-point shots, still led 12-4 at the second official timeout.
The Terps, however, could not build a decisive lead, going nearly 11 minutes in the first half without a field goal. Wood pulled the Pack within 14-13 with the game’s first 3-pointer, after the two teams combined to miss their first eight shots from beyond the arc.
When the first half ended, the Terps held a 22-16 lead.
The Wolfpack returns home on Sunday to face Clemson at sold-out PNC Arena, where State has won 11 straight contests dating back to last season. The game is slated for 6 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPNU.
It is the fourth sell-out of the season for the Wolfpack. The upcoming contest against North Carolina is also a sell-out, with limited tickets remaining for Miami, Florida State, Boston College and Wake Forest.
Against the Tigers, NC State will host Military Appreciation Day, with military-themed performances beginning 15 minutes prior to tipoff. Throughout the game, the school will pay tribute to America’s military heroes with on-court presentations and video board segments.