Friday, March 9, 2012

Henson Injured As UNC Blows Out Maryland

(Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
#4 NORTH CAROLINA 85, MARYLAND 69 -- Yesterday, Maryland coach Mark Turgeon went “small” on purpose when he was disappointed with the play of his big men.  Today, North Carolina coach Roy Williams went “small” (relatively speaking) when John Henson injured his wrist and Tyler Zeller found himself in rare foul trouble.

It didn’t matter.

Kendall Marshall’s dynamic playmaking turned the rim into a gathering place for a Tar Heels’ dunkfest.

Reggie Bullock buried a couple of huge 3-pointers to get the rout going. Seven-footer Tyler Zeller dominated on the inside. Harrison Barnes showed off some NBA-caliber finishing moves as Carolina overwhelmed the Terps.

North Carolina (28-4) simply had too many weapons for Maryland (17-15), which was essentially a one-man show. Terrell Stoglin scored 30 points, but none of his teammates had more than 11.  The Terps over matched front court didn’t score a basket until the second half.

Marshall knew he had to step up after Henson sprained his left wrist in the first half.

“I didn’t know how serious it was,” the guard said. “But when he started squirming for a long period of time, I thought it could be something kind of serious. He’s dealt with a little wrist pain last year. We’re hoping for the best.”

(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
The Tar Heels could overlook that mistake. Marshall scored 13 points, knocking down three attempts from 3-point range, but it was his passing that really stood out. He set up his teammates with 12 assists, many of them resulting in layups or dunks.

It was another signature performance in a stellar season for Marshall, who broke ACC record for assists in a season. He now has 311, surging past the mark set by Georgia Tech’s Craig Neal in 1987-88. He needed five to break the record and the matter was resolved in the first five minutes of the game.

James Michael McAdoo had 14 points of the bench and P.J. Hairston added nine.  Zeller scored 14 points and grabbed 7 boards, Harrison Barnes and Reggie Bullock had 15 points each.

Henson wrist is believed to be sprained.

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