Deacons dominate paint to top Terrapins
Published 7:17 am Wednesday, March 4, 2009
By By JOSEPH WHITE, AP Sports Writer
COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Al-Farouq Aminu had 16 points and a career-high 14 rebounds, Jeff Teague scored 17 and No. 10 Wake Forest dominated the paint in a 65-63 victory over on Tuesday night.
The Demon Deacons, who took control with a 6-0 run in the final minute, held sway in every meaningful big-man stat. Rebounds: 50-32. Blocks: 10-3. Second-chance points: 20-6. They led by only one with 1 minute to play, but James Johnson had a tip-in at one end and a block at the other to sway the momentum for good.
Teague then went 4-for-4 from the free-throw line in the final 35 seconds to give Wake a seven-point lead. Maryland made two jumpers in the final 10 seconds to account for the final margin.
With the win, Wake Forest (23-5, 10-5) moves into sole possession of third place in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Demon Deacons, who have won six of eight after dropping three of four, close the regular season at home against Clemson on Sunday.
Dave Neal, Maryland’s only senior, had a senior night to remember with a career-high 19 points for the Terrapins, who failed to get another take-notice victory for the NCAA selection committee. Maryland (18-11, 7-8) will need to win its last game, on Saturday at Virginia, to finish .500 in the conference, an often-used litmus test for an NCAA tournament berth.
Greivis Vasquez added 16 points for Terrapins, but he shot only 7-for-24 from the field. On the eve of coach Gary Williams’ 64th birthday, Maryland couldn’t quite beat a top-10 team for the third time this season.
The Demon Deacons, shooting 49.8 percent on the season entering the game, shot only 39.7 percent against the Terrapins, and their run-the-floor, throw-it-inside game was often clogged by yellow jerseys in the paint, making the game as close as it was.
Wake Forest played most of the game without center Chas McFarland, who limped off the court early in the game. He returned in the first half but played only 8 minutes.
In the first half, Braxton Dupree’s hook shot capped a 10-0 run that gave the Terrapins a 17-10 lead. Eric Hayes had a busy few minutes — a one-handed, left-handed fling that somehow went in, a leaner and a long assist on a fast break — as Maryland went ahead 27-16.
The Demon Deacons were back on all cylinders to open the second half, pulling off a 16-5 run to take a 41-37 lead.
But every time it seemed Wake Forest had Maryland figured out, the Demon Deacons would have a possession such as the one that produced Aminu’s not-even-close air ball in the second half. The Terrapins rebounded and tied the game at 41 on Adrian Bowie’s fast-break dunk.
Neal made three 3-pointers over a span of about 2 minutes as the Terrapins took a 54-48 lead. Students chanted his name during a timeout, but Wake Forest responded with a 9-0 run that included two 3-pointers and Teague’s powerful one-handed flying dunk.