The contest between the NC State Wolfpack and Maryland Terrapins started off sloppy, and that would set the tone for the game as the Wolfpack defeated the Terrapins, 65 to 56.
The game started as a dud for the Terps as they got off to a horrendous start, trailing 7-0 early on in the game to an NC State squad missing their leading scorer, T.J Warren. Slowly, but surely, the Terps fought back to take the 8-7 lead. Up 12-11, the Terps found their stride, hitting open shots and getting out in transition to open the lead up to nine, 22-13 with the help on a 10-2 run, spurred on with big rebounds from Charles Mitchell and tough defense all-around.
Freshman Damonte Dodd provided some big minutes for coach Mark Turgeon, and he responded well with six points, four rebounds and a blocked shot in his time, helping propel the Terps forward. After a travel by NC State with around five seconds left in the half, Dez Wells attacked the lane in transition and kicked the ball out to Jake Layman for a buzzer-beating three to end the half, giving the Terps a 29-20 lead.
After starting the game with horrific shooting, going 0-8 from the field, the Terps ended the first half 11-33 from the field, while NC State shot just 6-27.
The second half opened up better for the Terps, as Shaq Cleare hit the opening shot on a hook over the defender. The good play wouldn't continue, as the Wolfpack would rip off an 8-0 run behind sloppy play by the Terps, forcing Turgeon to use a timeout with 16:14 remaining in the game.
The story of the first six minutes of the second half was the hustle shown by NC State. After misses, turnovers and even made shots from Maryland, the Wolfpack rushed down the court, made smart decisions, and got open shots, especially in transition.
After the Wolfpack run, the game became more of a back-and-forth affair, with the teams trading baskets. The Terps allowed two threes to Ralston Turner after getting up 46-42, turning that four point lead to a two point deficit. After a Tyler Lewis bucket, a nine point halftime lead was effectively erased and turned into a full momentum shifting four point lead for the Wolfpack with 7:35 remaining.
Wide open shots, sloppy play and poor shot-selection plagued the Terps in the second half, something they have dealt with most of the season, and it didn't change tonight.
Another open three made by Turner opened the Wolfpack lead to four with 3:13 remaining, and the Terps remained sloppy. Smotrycz drove and missed a close-up shot and upon gaining the rebound, Allen drove to the lane and seemed to get fouled, but no call was made.
Turner came into the game averaging nine points per game, but finished the game with 23 points. (Cue the "someone always beats us that shouldn't" talk).
With just under two minutes remaining and trailing by six, Smotryzc attempted a three but it wouldn't fall but the Terps would foul Bee-Jay Anya and he would miss the front-end of the one-and-one. The offensive possession would be short-lived, as an offensive foul would be called on Wells.
The Terps fell ultimately due to their sloppy play, poor shooting and missed opportunities. After regaining some momentum with a victory at home over Notre Dame, all of it was lost in a loss to NC State that lacked its leading scorer in T.J Warren.
Questions will certainly continue to swirl around coach Turgeon and the program after yet another disappointing performance on the road.It should be pointed out that the Wolfpack came into this game 1-4 in ACC play. Maryland falls from good standing, now 3-3 in conference play.