News printed from yesterday's late editions.
Maryland's basketball Terrapins continued their steady decline in the Atlantic Coast Conference last night. Committing the unpardonable sin of losing at home, 80-73, to a North Carolina State team that led all but 21 seconds of the game.
Maryland coach Lefty Driesell had an ordered list of reasons but no real explanation why his talented club is 1-5 in the ACC and a loser of five of its last seven games.
The first thing you have to do is [WORD ILLEGIBLE] defense and the second thing you have to do is hustle, get the loose balls and jump balls, and the discipline game on offense. We're not doing any of these things," said Driesell, just about wiping out every question any reporter might have had.
Even though State led almost all the way to its third ACC win in five games, Maryland had several chances to cut into lead.
But the array of ailments Driesell so neatly listed combined to keep Maryland listless outside State's tough 1-3-1 zone defense.
State controlled the bounds, 39-30, preventing Maryland from scoring on the fast break (a lifesaver against a troublesome zone). The board edge also allowed State to take 20 more shots. Maryland shot 56 percent. 64 percent in the first half, but was almost never in the game because of other inconsistencies.
"With the exception of Al King's 19 points, Maryland's front line was almost transparent. Center Larry Gibson scored one point, his backup, Mike Davis, played only four minutes and scored two points, and forward Lawrence Boston had just three rebounds and six points.
"I just wasn't in the game," said Boston. "There are things going on inside the team, things that shouldn't be going on, personal things, disagreements, that are affecting us on the court. Everyone likes each other all right. But everyone has a lot of pressure on them, and everyone has a lot of pressure of them, and everyone is thinking too much. "When I'm not doing well, my mind just goes."
Point guard Greg Manning was able to drive into the zone and score on the few Maryland fast breaks for a team-high 20 points.
Maryland, 11-6 overall, had particular defensive problems with forward Hawkeye Whitney, who scored 13 of his 19 points in the second half, and Washington native Kenny Matthews, who came off the bench to score 16 points.
Guard Clyde Austin added 14 points from the outside for State's 13th victory in 16 games.
State led by as many as nine in the first half and took a 46-30 advantage to the locker room.
The Terps ran off one string of seven straight points early in the second half while State missed three shots and made some errors. When Maryland guard Jo Jo Hunter capped the streak with a 22-footer for a 53-52 lead, the Cole Field House crowd roared for 21 full seconds. It was the only opportunity.
Matthews recaptured the lead with an 18-footer and, after a jump ball left Maryland scoreless. Austin connected from 20 feet for a 56-53 lead.
The Terps tied it at 61-61 and switched to a 1-3-1 zone, hoping it would have the same effect on State as it had on them.
But turnovers, sloppy play and a few errant shots from Boston gave the Wolfpack enough breathing room for a 9-2 streak to put the game away for good.
No one can figure out what the Terps' biggest problem is. But they lost the ball 22 times, while State lost it five times. Apparently ball-handling is, at least, high on the list.
"I've tried not to panic and change things around, but maybe I'll have to," said Driesell. "They're not smooth, not together. State played very well, and just outhustled us."
The Terps' next game is at Notre Dame on national television Sunday.