Terps put it all to­gether, crush Wake

The Washington Times Daily - - Weather - BY PA­TRICK STEVENS

AT­LANTA | Mary­land’s gleam of mod­er­ate over­achieve­ment and steady progress dis­si­pated over the final three games of the reg­u­lar sea­son.

A rein­vig­o­rated ros­ter, not to men­tion a meet­ing with ACC punching bag Wake For­est, helped bring the Ter­rap­ins’ ex­cite­ment back for at least one day in March.

Eighth-seeded Mary­land pul­ver­ized ninth-seeded Wake For­est 82-60 in the first round of the ACC tour­na­ment Thurs­day, pro­vid­ing a jolt to a team not quite ready to see its sea­son come to an end.

“That’s the most com­plete game we have played all year,” coach Mark Tur­geon said.

Ter­rell Stoglin scored 25 points and Nick Faust added 19 for the Terps (17-14), who ad­vanced to meet top-seeded North Carolina (27-4) in Fri­day’s quar­ter­fi­nals.

Yes, Mary­land main­tained flick­er­ing NIT hopes and it did so with its most lop­sided ACC tour­na­ment vic­tory in a decade. The Terps built their largest lead of the sea­son (29 points late in the sec­ond half) and pro­duced their sec­ond-best as­sist to­tal of the year (18).

But more than any­thing, they de­parted Philips Arena feel­ing bet­ter about vastly bet­ter about them­selves af­ter some late-sea­son strug­gles.

Mary­land lost to strug­gling Ge­or­gia Tech, was blown out at North Carolina and stretched Virginia to over­time to com­plete the reg­u­lar sea­son. A NO. CAROLINA VS. MARY­LAND Fri­day: TV: Ra­dio:

four-game skid to close out the year would not have left a pleas­ant sen­sa­tion en­ter­ing the off­sea­son.

In­stead, the Terps em­braced their tour­na­ment op­por­tu­nity. Stoglin at­tempted only 14 shots, his fewest since point guard Pe’shon Howard was lost for the sea­son with a torn knee lig­a­ment. Faust con­tin­ued his mat­u­ra­tion with one turnover in 31 min­utes. And Mary­land over­whelmed the shal­low De­mon Dea­cons (13-18), with walk-on Jonathan Thomas play­ing 12 valu­able min­utes to help wear out Wake.

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