Maryland brought a seven-game winning streak into the Coliseum last night with high hopes of moving into third place in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Instead, the Terrapins played poorly, shooting only 35 percent and virtually handed Wake Forest a 79-66 victory.
The game was so out of hand in the first half that many of the 7,875 left in plenty of time to watch "The Winds of War." Certainly, the British shot better than Maryland.
"We looked like a bunch of dogs," said Maryland Coach Lefty Driesell. "They just whipped our butts. We were awful, just terrible. I keep an efficiency chart and we were at minus-1 in the first half. We might as well just had stayed home and forfeited. We couldn't even make layups.
"Awful," Driesell continued, "A . . . W . . . F . . . I don't even know how to spell it."
Statistics support him.
Only forward Herman Veal played well, making four of five shots and getting 10 rebounds.
Ben Coleman, the main hero during the streak and the second leading percentage shooter in the ACC, made five of 14. Three of them were dunks. He got good inside position on most of the shots but, as he said, "I just missed them."
Adrian Branch, who shot 56 percent during the streak, made six of 19. Jeff Adkins was four for 12. Len Bias was three for nine. Steve Rivers was zero for three.
As Branch said later, "It was a total team effort."
During one sequence in the first half, Coleman and Adkins missed three layups. The Deacons took a 25-13 lead on a basket by Anthony Teachey, after missed shots by Bias and Baxter. Not only were the Terrapins missing, but they played without much intensity. Driesell could be heard all over the building screaming, "Y'all get fired up out there."
The Terrapins didn't, and Wake moved to a 40-21 lead at halftime.
Wake Forest wasn't playing especially inspired basketball either. The Demon Deacons shot 57 percent, but that figure is less impressive when you note that the Deacons took mostly layups and five-footers on the Terrapin defense. This game was far below the normal ACC standards.
Maryland managed one decent spurt early in the second half, ralling within 56-48 on a three-pointer by Adkins and a base-line jumper by Bias.
"But we wore ourselves out climbing back," Adkins said.
Being worn out showed mostly on defense.
Teachey did a lot of the wearing. He led the Deacons (15-5, 5-2 in the ACC) with 21 points and 11 rebounds, and made an uncontested layup that stopped Maryland's brief momentum and pushed Wake to a 60-49 lead. From there it was over. Teachey also played good defense on Coleman and got a lot of help from a sagging zone.
"I played behind him and put the body on him as much as possible. We just wanted to force him to punch the ball out and make them shoot from the outside. They did and didn't hit."
Said Coleman, "Teachey was everywhere."
Forward John Toms complemented Teachey with 18 points (eight for 12). Delaney Rudd scored 12 points.
Deacons guard Danny Young said Maryland's poor shooting was a combination of good Wake Forest defense and frustration by the Terrapin players.
"They started missing easy shots," Young said, "and then pretty soon they were thinking about it. When you start thinking, it's frustrating."
That frustration showed in the Maryland locker room and in the voice of Adkins.
"Everything went wrong that could," Adkins said. "I don't understand how it could happen. We've got to go back to what we did during the winning streak. The way we played was demoralizing. I just hope we got it all out in one night."