A hoarse, downcast and deeply angered Maryland Coach Charles G. Driesell all but disowned his basketball team last night. The reason: the Terrapins' fifth straight Atlantic Coast Conference loss, a 67-55 performance against young North Carolina State in which they seemed just as tired as in their last game, against Virginia.
Driesell seemed at his wits' end as he promised lineup changes in the wake of a loss at Cole Field House that gave the Terrapins their worst conference start in his 17-year tenure. The last time Maryland (10-7, 0-5 in the ACC) fared this badly in the league was in 1968-69 -- the year before Driesell arrived -- when the team started 0-6. Maryland plays at No. 2 Duke Saturday.
"We need some changes, that's for sure," Driesell said. "I'm not going to give up, but I will give some new people a chance. I've given some others their chance, and there are a lot of players who just aren't producing.
"This is not the caliber of team I am used to being associated with. I am going to play some different people, I can promise you that. Look at the box score. You figure it out."
Considering Maryland's overall lifeless performance, you could probably pick out just about anyone. The Terrapins shot 38 percent, the second straight game they were under 40 percent. In Sunday's 70-49 loss to Virginia, they had shot 33 percent.
Maryland, after trailing by nine points early, brought it to 35-31 by halftime and managed to tie it at 43 on Len Bias' 20-foot jumper with 10:55 left. But Maryland stayed even just briefly before the Wolfpack outscored the Terrapins, 18-6, over a 7:11 stretch to disappoint the sellout crowd of 14,500.
One could not help but notice the contrast between a Maryland performance that bordered on uninterested and a freewheeling one by N.C. State. An exceedingly young but wildly inventive team, the Wolfpack promises to get nothing but better, and this was a valuable road victory for Coach Jim Valvano's club, which improved to 12-5, 4-2 in the ACC.
Charles Shackleford, a 6-foot-11 freshman forward, led the Wolfpack with 20 points. Guard Ernie Meyers had 15.
N.C. State had lost six straight regular-season games to Maryland over the past three years.
"They were just a better ball club," Driesell said. "They got tip-ins, whatever they wanted. We were just overmatched. If we don't play better, we're going to be overmatched in every game in the ACC."
A lineup change would be nothing new to the Terrapins, who have undergone a total of eight so far. Only Bias and Derrick Lewis have held their positions for all 16 games. Driesell, however, doesn't have many options left. He apparently may turn to freshman guard John Johnson and center Tony Massenburg, who started six games earlier this season but has not seen much conference play.
Bias had 16 points despite an effective box-and-one defense Wolfpack that held him scoreless until 3:37 remained in the first half. Jeff Baxter also scored 16 and Lewis 12.
But once again, Maryland failed to work the ball effectively to Bias inside. Tom (Speedy) Jones, starting in place of center Terry Long, had only two points and four rebounds. Long got four rebounds and did not score in 12 minutes. Guard Keith Gatlin had six points, two assists and three turnovers in 36 minutes.
"We just wanted to stay on Bias for 40 minutes and keep him from dominating in the stretch," Valvano said. "Offensively, the plan was to get it inside, and we did that effectively, too. Those were the two keys."
Maryland cut N.C. State's halftime lead to two in the opening moments of the second period on Lewis' shot from the baseline. When Bias found his way inside for a dunk off Terry Long's miss, that again pulled Maryland to within two with 17:30 left.
Lewis then put the Terrapins in position to tie up when he blocked Shackleford from the corner. But Gatlin threw the chance away with an ill-judged attempt from 18 feet, and Meyers pushed the lead to 41-37 with a layup at 16:35.
Maryland, however, finally came to life, scoring four straight points from Lewis at 13:24 and Bias at 11:53 to make it 43-41. When Meyers was called for a charge with 11:36 left, the Terrapins had a chance to tie.
This time they did, and it came from Bias, on a 20-foot jumper with six seconds left on the 45-second clock to tie at 43. They stayed close, with Lewis' basket tying the game again at 47 with 8:22 left.
But Washburn began N.C. State's run with a driving bank shot, the first of eight straight points as Maryland went scoreless for 3:39. Shackleford, Meyers and Bennie Bolton then all scored in succession. Bolton's jumper from the corner gave the Wolfpack a 56-47 lead with five minutes remaining.
Bias finally made a jumper with 4:13 left that brought it to 56-49, but the Wolfpack ran it up from there. Shackleford's free throw with 1:12 left made it 61-49.
"Things haven't been going well for me lately," Shackleford said. "Things just woke up tonight." Indiana 71, Purdue 70
Steve Alford scored 19 of his 27 points in the second half and hit the lone basket of overtime as the Hoosiers won at home.
Purdue's Mack Gadis missed a shot with six seconds remaining and Steve Eyl got the rebound for Indiana (12-4, 4-2 in the Big Ten). Purdue fell to 16-4, 5-2. Kentucky 74, Georgia 69
Guard Ed Davender scored 15 points as the 11th-ranked Wildcats won at home to improve to 15-2, 6-1 in the Southeastern Conference.
Kentucky opened up a 55-31 lead on guard Paul Andrews' basket with 15:35 left, but Georgia (10-6, 3-4) went on a 19-4 run. Kansas 81, Missouri 77
Ron Kellogg (27 points) made two foul shots with eight seconds left to help the seventh-ranked Jayhawks win the Big Eight game in Columbia, Mo.
Kansas (18-2, 4-0 in the Big Eight) shot 58 percent. Missouri (16-6, 3-2) had rallied from 13 points down behind Derrick Chievous' 31 points. Nevada-Las Vegas 88, New Mexico State 79
Forward Anthony Jones scored 28 points as the 10th-ranked Runnin' Rebels won the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference game in Las Cruces, N.M. Freddie Banks made five three-point field goals for UNLV (18-2, 7-0), which has won nine straight.
New Mexico State (11-4, 5-1) had a seven-game winning streak ended. South Carolina 65, Clemson 64
In Columbia, S.C., Senior forward Linwood Moye made two foul shots with eight seconds left to lift the Gamecocks (10-6) to victory.
South Carolina was led by Michael Foster's 22 points. Moye had 16 points and 10 rebounds. Horace Grant led Clemson (13-5) with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Catholic 101, St. Mary's 94
Bob Burns scored 27 points and John Winkler had 24 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Cardinals (10-6) to the overtime victory at home. It was the eighth straight victory for Catholic, which is 8-0 at home this season.