Wake Forest's victory over Maryland in Greensboro Saturday night was like so many other Atlantic Coast Conference games this year: a slow, low-scoring matchup decided by foul shots in the last two minutes.
Wake won, 48-42. Last fall, Maryland beat Wake Forest, 45-33, in football.
Although Saturday's game was a slowdown, Maryland committed 10 turnovers and 14th-ranked Wake made eight. The Terrapins (14-10, 4-8 in the ACC) shot 36 percent and the Deacons, 44 percent. Each team had only one double-figure scorer.
The basic scenario found either team passing the ball around the perimeter for up to three minutes, then putting up a 22-foot jump shot, which could have been taken in the first 10 seconds of each possession. Each team's starting center took only four shots.
Maryland, after taking a 29-24 lead early in the second half, failed to score a field goal for 11 1/2 minutes, leading to yet another close ACC road loss for the Terrapins.
If Coach Lefty Driesell was upset with his team's performance, his words didn't show it. "Our defense was super and we stopped their big men inside. I am proud of them. This is a scrappy club and they are fighting their hearts out. Wake Forest knew they had a ball game. I think we're a pretty darn good basketball team."
Any chance for a Maryland upset ended when the Deacons (18-6, 8-4) began double-teaming Terrapin freshman Adrian Branch, Maryland's leading scorer (14.7) and the top freshman scorer in the ACC. With two regular-season games and at least one ACC tournament game remaining, Branch--who has scored 354 points--is almost sure to break Albert King's freshman scoring mark of 381.
But if the Maryland offense remains as predictable as it was against Wake Forest, in remaining regular-season games with North Carolina State and No. 1 Virginia (Wednesday and Saturday), the Terrapins will find winning another game this season very difficult.
In other area games Saturday, Michael Britt, perhaps the most underrated player in the area, scored 30 points and had 20 rebounds in the District of Columbia's 101-75 victory over Fairmont State. Britt broke his nose last week, and wasn't sure he would even play Saturday night.
Another banged-up player, American University's Juan Jones, has been named to the District III all-academic team for his 3.0 grade index as a communications major. Jones, after suffering a fractured right cheek last week, is playing with a protective mask. The Eagles (19-5) had Saturday off but will go for their second straight 20-victory season on Tuesday night against East Coast Conference opponent St. Joseph's at Fort Myer.
Nationally, No. 5 Oregon State got 11 points from Rob Holbrook and A.C. Green in the final seven minutes to boost the Pacific-10 leaders to a 40-36 victory over Washington State.
Kentucky's Joe B. Hall got his 300th career victory as the ninth-ranked Wildcats defeated Vanderbilt, 73-69, to remain one game behind Southeast Conference leader Tennessee.
Tulsa, ranked sixth, won its 30th straight home game, defeating Indiana State, 77-64, in a Missouri Valley Conference game. And No. 11 Idaho increased its home court winning streak to 33 games by defeating Big Sky opponent Montana State, 77-63.