Saturday, March 14, 2009

TERPS ANOTHER DANCE STEP CLOSER

MARYLAND 75, No. 9 WAKE FOREST 64 – If Wake Forest finds it way to Detroit for the final four, they rent a domed stadium for a few days of practice. Clearly the perspective and the baskets in the Georgia Dome didn’t agree with the Demon Deacons who missed 52 of their 74 shots from the field (29.7 percent).

And, three pointers – 3 of 25, 12 percent.

Among the starters, Al-Farouq Aminu was 2 of 12, Jeff Teague made only 3 of 13, Williams went 3 of 9, and Chas McFarland missed all four of his shots. Johnson connected on half of his 18 attempts, but the top five still combined for a dismal 17-of-56.

In the second half, Wake Forest put up 15 3-pointers in an increasingly futile attempt to slice into Maryland's lead. Only one went in.

The Terps strategy was to to cut off the lanes to the basket forcing Wake Forest put up more three-pointers than usual. The Demon Deacons had been averaging just over 12 attempts per game, fewest in the ACC, but the Maryland defense required them to attempt more than twice that – 25.

That’s all a desperate NCAA bid seeking Maryland (20-12) needed to knock of No. 9 Wake Forest (24-6) in last night’s quarterfinal game of the ACC tournament.

Before the tournament, head coach Gary Williams said two wins should put Maryland in the Big Dance. The Terps moved on to face No. 8 Duke in the semis Saturday, giving them yet another chance to impress the selection committee.

Greivis Vasquez scored 22 points while James Johnson led Wake Forest with 20 points. The Demon Deacons have already done plenty to land an NCAA bid, but the one-and-done showing at the Georgia Dome will most likely hurt their seeding.

(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

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