Instant Analysis: Maryland 51 NC State 50
How it happened: Maryland center Alex Len electrified the Comcast Center crowd with a last second bucket to beat the No. 14 N.C. State Wolfpack 51-50. Len’s final basket gave the Terps the one-point lead with less than a second left, and sent the Terp crowd into a frenzy. The Terps won the game thanks to playing their best defense of the season. Maryland controlled play for most of the game thanks to ball pressure on the Wolfpack shooters and playing measured offense that limited turnovers. A late NC State run brought the Terps to the brink of their third-straight loss, but Maryland was able to win the game in the end.
What it means: After two straight losses to Florida State and Miami, Maryland really needed this win. Much criticism has been made over a weak non-conference schedule for the Terps and the lack of a signature win. Thanks to the late Len basket, the Terps now have that signature win. The victory over the Wolfpack also gives the young Terps team confidence that they can play and beat the best teams in the country. That confidence could mean a great deal for a Maryland team with many tough games left to play.
Key stat: Maryland held the Wolfpack to 31 percent shooting from the field. In their last game, a win over No. 1 Duke, N.C. State scored 84 points behind key performances from big men Richard Howell and C.J. Leslie. Against Maryland, the talented duo were held to to just 21 points, compared to a combined 41 points for Leslie and Howell in the win over Duke.
What’s Next: The rough stretch of ACC games continues for the Terps. On Saturday they face North Carolina in the famed “Dean Dome” in Chapel Hill. From there, Maryland returns home to face Boston College before heading back to North Carolina to play Duke in Durham.