Red-hot Terps host Wolfpack in final game of regular season
College Park, MD (Sports Network) – The 24th-ranked Maryland Terrapins are one
of the hottest teams in the nation, and they will wrap up the regular
season against the NC State Wolfpack this afternoon in an ACC clash.
NC State was most recently in action on Wednesday when it posted a 73-66
victory over Wake Forest to move to 13-6 at home this season. Unfortunately,
the Wolfpack own a dismal 2-7 mark in true road games, helping to explain
the 5-10 league record.
Maryland has been much more successful, as it owns a 9-6 ACC record
thanks to six consecutive victories. The Terps beat North Carolina on Sunday
and followed that thrilling win with an 85-77 road victory over Duke on
Wednesday. At 16-2 at home, they are clearly favored in this contest.
Maryland rolled to an 85-70 decision over NC State on Valentine’s Day,
cutting the Wolfpack’s lead to 72-68 in the all-time series between the teams.
Brandon Costner continues to pace a balanced NC State offensive attack with
16.2 ppg, and he is pulling down 7.6 rpg. Ben McCauley adds 15.1 ppg to the
lineup on the strength of his 59.5 percent shooting from the field, and Gavin
Grant is close behind with 15.0 ppg to go along with his 119 assists. Engin
Atsur (11.4 ppg) and Courtney Fells (11.3 ppg) are also solid contributors for
NC State, but there is not another player on the team scoring more than 4.5
ppg. The complete lack of depth has clearly hurt the squad, especially since
the start of conference play. In the win over Wake Forest earlier this week, NC
State connected on 51 percent of its field goal attempts while limiting the
Demon Deacons to 33.8 percent efficiency. Costner scored 19 points off the
bench, and McCauley added 17 points.
Maryland got outstanding performances from several individuals in the road
victory over Duke on Wednesday. Mike Jones was tremendous, as he scored a game-
high 25 points in 32 minutes of action. Ekene Ibekwe and D.J. Strawberry
managed 17 points apiece, and freshman point guard Greivis Vasquez narrowly
missed a triple-double with 13 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds. The Terps
shot 52.4 percent from the floor in the contest, including a 7-of-13 showing
from three-point range, and they racked up 25 assists against only 13
turnovers. Strawberry is scoring 15.2 ppg to go along with 104 assists and 62
steals, and five players in all are averaging double figures in scoring for
Maryland. The Terps are posting 80.1 ppg while limiting foes to 67.9 ppg on
39.1 percent overall shooting.