The wonderful, wacky world of Atlantic Coast Conference basketball returned to Cole field House yesterday and Maryland lost an 86-85 overtime decision to wake Forest when Skip Brown hit a free throw with three seconds to play.
Explaining the foul that led to his winning point, Brown said, "I wanted to go down low to Rod Griffin, but nobody was there. I realized I didn't have a shot, so I tried to draw a foul. (Steve) Sheppard hit me on the right shoulder."
It was that kind of a game, one in which brown hit the apparent winning shot, an 18-footer, with one second left in regulation, only to have Maryland's Brian Magid come off the bench and swish through a 30-footer at the buzzer.
The 14,372 fans and a regional television audience watched Maryland take early control, then fall behind by 10 points at halftime when a Wake press victimized Brad Davis. Then the Terps took control again, lost the lead and finally recovered from a five-point deficit in the final two minutes of regulation.
It was a game for second-guessers, especially those who wondered why Maryland coach Lefty Driesel ordered a zone defense with a two-point lead and four minutes left in regulation. or those who wondered why he let the Deacons stall almost without harassment almost three minutes for the final shot in overtime.
The ACC is a conference of coaching feuds, and another one appears brewing between Driesell and Wake's Carl Tacy.
"We were kind of glad they went into that zone," said Tacy. "We wanted to get the clock down because all of our players were tired or in foul trouble."
"He was delighted?" snarled Driesell. "We'll come right back and do it again the next time."
What sent Maryland into today's nationally televised (WRCTV 4. 12:30 p.m.) ACC game here against North Carolina state with an 0-1 league record was its own mistakes, and especially subpar first-half play by maryland veterans Sheppard and Brad Davis.
Maryland freshman Billy Bryant led the Terps in scoring with 23 points, a figure matched by Wake forward Griffin. Brown added 22 points and Jerry Schellenberg 19 for the Deacons, now 114 overall and 2-0 in the AAC.
The play that ended Maryland's 10-game winning streak started with 10 seconds left in the overtime, following a time out called by Tacy to assure no defensive mishaps, such as the one that led Magid eide open for his tying shot at the end of regulation.
"The play wasn't designed for Skip," said assistant coach Dave Odom. "We went into our passing game and told whoever had the shot to take it. we wanted to go inside to Griffin."
Drjesch countered by ordering a zone defense, and it succeeded in keeping Wake from working the ball inside.
As time ran don. Brown was on the left side of the court about 15 feet from the hoop.
"I knew when he got to his spot he would shoot it," Sheppard said. "That's why I anticipated his move. I didn't think I fouled him. He was leaning his shoulder toward me. I thought it was a foul on him . . . I guess I'll have to see the films to be sure."
Brown who [WORD ILLEGIBLE] made 43 consecutive free throws, hit the first. He missed the second, not on purpose, but because he lost his concentration, Brown said. Freshman Leroy McDonald grabbed the rebound and missed a shot as the clock ran out.
Wake hit 26 of 29 free throws for the game. Maryland lost both inside starters. Larry Gibson and Mike Davis, on fouls, and scored more field goals, 37:30.
"They're such good foul shooters," said magid. "That's why we stayed back."
When you're running the four corners effectively, as any ACC team can, it's to their advantage if you come out," Brad Davis said.
"I was tired, but not that tired," said Wake's Brown."I would have welcomed them coming out, that way we could have gotten some easy lay-ups."
Maryland found itself forced into the comeback posture because of Wake's full-court trapping zone press that ignited a 19-4 Deacon surge for a 33-23 lead.
"That was one of the keys in our victory," said Odoms. "We think Brad Davis is the finest guard in the league at running the ball at the defense, especially after a basket. He wasn't able to run through the defense as he had been doing."
[WORD ILLEGIBLE] just didn't look up court enough," Davis said after his 15-point six-assist, seven-turnover game. Six turnovers came in the first half, when he tried to dribble through masses of defenders.
"That's his characteristic," said Odom. "He goes at people: he's a pusher. We don't have anybody who can go one on one with him. It stopped him and got us back in the game."