Maryland 75, N.C. State 67
Jordan Williams had 16 points and 13 rebounds to help Maryland
beat North Carolina State 75-67 on Thursday night in the first
round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
Dino Gregory added 11 points for the seventh-seeded Terrapins
(19-13), who snapped a three-game losing streak and led the entire
night. Maryland led by 17 points in the first half and never let
the 10th-seeded Wolfpack (15-16) get closer than six in the second
half, earning a matchup with fifth-ranked Duke in Friday’s
Tracy Smith had 14 points to lead N.C. State, which had a
miserable shooting performance in what could be the final game for
fifth-year Wolfpack coach Sidney Lowe. N.C. State shot 34 percent,
including 2-for-17 from 3-point range, and couldn’t pull off the
same kind of magic they had in a pair of deep ACC tournament runs
The Terrapins needed this win considering how they had likely
fumbled away their NCAA tournament at-large chances by closing the
regular season with three straight losses, two of which coming to
lower-seeded Miami and Virginia. But the Terrapins shot 45 percent
while playing from ahead all night against the Wolfpack.
Maryland didn’t have a lot of drama with this one, scoring the
first six points and taking a 31-14 lead on James Padgett’s tip-in
of his own missed shot with 8:51 left in the first half.
That prompted a timeout call from a visibly angry Lowe, who
chastised his team after watching the ball just fall right to
Padgett instead of going up and snatching the rebound.
The Wolfpack responded from an effort standpoint, closing the
gap to six points late in the half and trailing 42-33 at the break.
But N.C. State just never could overcome that bad start, leaving
Lowe – who donned the red blazer he traditionally wears for big
games – looking for answers on the sideline the rest of the
Now he’ll have to wait for an answer on his future with the
program he led to a national championship as a player in 1983.
Lowe entered with an 86-77 overall record while going just 25-55
in ACC play. He also hasn’t made the NCAA tournament after
inheriting a program coming off five straight NCAA trips. There
have been a handful of exciting moments, including a surprise run
to the ACC tournament final in his first season and a trip to the
ACC semifinals last year.
Yet those moments proved fleeting, with the Wolfpack failing to
finish higher than ninth in the ACC under Lowe while struggling to
sustain any momentum from big wins.
N.C. State athletics director Debbie Yow has said there would be
no decisions on Lowe’s future until after the season is complete.
Now, barring an unexpected invitation to the NIT on Sunday night,
that’s exactly where things stand.
In some ways, this game was a metaphor for N.C. State’s entire
season. Picked to finish fourth in the ACC, N.C. State closed with
four losses in five games to fall to the No. 10 seed here, then
couldn’t take advantage of repeated opportunities to get back in
the game when Maryland wavered.
Maryland pushed its lead to 16 with about 6 minutes left before
N.C. State made its final push, twice getting as close as six
points in the final minute. But Maryland’s Pe’Shon Howard and
Terrell Stoglin each went 2-for-2 at the line in the last 45
seconds to seal it.