Saturday , Mar , 13 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Terps down Wake in ACC thriller

Greensboro, NC (Sports Network) – John Gilchrist converted on 1-of-2 free
throws with 3.7 seconds left, lifting Maryland to an 87-86 win over No. 15
Wake Forest in quarterfinal action of the ACC Tournament at the Greensboro
Coliseum.

Gilchrist finished with 16 points and six assists in the contest, as sixth-
seeded Maryland (17-11) won its third straight game to greatly increase its
chances of obtaining a berth in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

Travis Garrison recorded a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds for
the Terrapins, who will play North Carolina State on Saturday in the
semifinals.

Freshman Chris Paul was spectacular in defeat, finishing with 30 points and
nine assists. Jamaal Levy chipped in 18 points and eight boards for the
third-seeded Demon Deacons (19-9), who will still make it into the field
of 65 despite losing their third straight game.

“Thirty points doesn’t mean anything if we don’t get the win,” Paul said. “I’d
rather score no points and move on and get a chance to play tomorrow, but it
didn’t work out that way.”

Neither team was able to create any space in the game, which featured 12 ties
and 18 lead changes. In fact, the biggest lead for either squad was a shocking
six points.

After Wake Forest tied the contest on two free throws by Paul with 20 seconds
left to play, Maryland called timeout. They put the ball in Gilchrist’s hands,
and he drove towards the basket and was fouled. He made the first free throw
and missed the second, but got his hand on the rebound. The ball rolled on the
floor before it was picked up by Wake’s Taron Downey 75-feet from the basket
with time ticking away. Downey never could get a good shot attempt off as the
clock expired.

“It worked out well because he got a piece of it. It’s not bad to miss it in
that situation, because it is going to be a long shot anyway, so one doesn’t
really matter,” Maryland head coach Gary Williams said of Gilchrist’s
unintentional miss from the line.

Maryland actually led by five after two Chris McCray free throws made it 86-81
with 1:47 remaining. But Paul, who was unstoppable all night, came up with a
pair of clutch plays to draw Wake even.

Levy stole a pass to keep Maryland from putting the game away, and Paul
proceeded to bury a three-pointer moments later to draw the Demon Deacons
within two. Yet another Terrapin turnover set the stage for Paul to drive to
the basket and create contact. The 83-percent foul shooter made both to tie
the game at 86-86 before Gilchrist answered for the game winner.

Maryland did a solid job on the boards in the game, outrebounding Wake Forest
32-24. Nik Caner-Medley grabbed eight rebounds and McCray had seven in the
Terrapin victory. Both players also chipped in 13 points.

“They out-rebounded us by 17 at the Comcast Center. Tonight we got them by
seven, and I thought that was a big change in the first two games,” said
Williams, whose team lost the previous two meetings between the schools this
season.

The Demon Deacons were outrebounded for the first time in nine contests, as
big man Eric Williams had just five boards and 12 points before fouling out.

The first half was so tightly contested that the biggest margin either team
could muster was four points. The first 20 minutes ended just as it started,
tied.

Paul and Garrison each led their respective squads with 10 points as the game
was deadlocked at 36-36 at the break.

Game Notes

Maryland hasn’t won the ACC Tournament since the 1984 team starring Len
Bias…Wake Forest won the two regular season meetings between the schools…
Maryland leads the all-time series, 57-53…The Demon Deacons were awarded the
third seed in the tournament courtesy of a coin flip. They finished tied with
Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets defeated North Carolina earlier Friday.

MARYLAND WAKEFOREST