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Topic - Dez Wells
Ex-Xavier guard Dez Wells had 19 points, former Michigan swingman Evan Smotrycz scored 15 and Charles Mitchell added 12 points and 11 rebounds for Maryland, which had won four in a row after losing two of its first three.
Dez Wells split a pair of Providence defenders for a running hook shot with 1:04 left and added a pair of clutch free throws as Maryland held off a furious comeback attempt by the Friars, 56-52, to claim the 2013 Paradise Jam tournament championship Monday night.
President Barack Obama stayed to the end of a thrilling game and Oregon State rewarded him with a surprising victory, holding off Maryland 90-83 Sunday night.
Now it's time for the Maryland Terps to grow up and play in March with the big boys. Nothing less than the school's first NCAA tournament appearance since 2010 will suffice for a team eager to create a lasting memory during its final season in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Alex Len finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds and had a key block in the final seconds to help Maryland escape with a 58-57 victory over Alabama on Tuesday night in the NIT quarterfinals.
Maryland used a small lineup to mount a big comeback in a 62-52 victory over Denver on Thursday night in the second round of the NIT. Dez Wells scored 19 points for the Terrapins, who closed with a 23-4 run after trailing 48-39 with 9:15 left.
North Carolina and its four-guard lineup have a chance at another Atlantic Coast Conference championship — thanks in part to a Maryland guard whose last-gasp shot fell way short.
Wells was 9 of 13 from the field and 10 of 10 from the free throw line to lead the seventh-seeded Terrapins (22-11), who delivered the first big shocker of the week in Greensboro and advanced to the semifinals for the first time since 2009.
Wells scored 14 of his 21 points in the second half and Maryland beat pesky Wake Forest 75-62 on Thursday night in the first round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
Since beating Duke, Maryland has lost three of five — including a deflating 79-68 defeat at home against North Carolina on Wednesday night.
Wells, a Raleigh native who played AAU ball for the Chris Paul All-Stars, was 11 of 12 from the field and finished two points shy of his career high of 25 set Dec. 2 against George Mason.
Maryland spread the wealth, with six players — Logan Aronhalt, Alex Len, Jake Layman, James Padgett, Seth Allen and Dez Wells — scoring in double figures. Aronhalt led the way with 13 points, while Padgett poured in 12 on 6-for-6 shooting in his second start of ACC play.
Michael Snaer made a 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds left to lift Florida State to a 73-71 win over Maryland on Wednesday.
North Carolina led Maryland by 22 points at the break after probably its best half of the season. That lead never dipped below double figures.
"No excuses our way," said Dez Wells, who led Maryland with 19 points. "They came out and played well. We had too many turnovers in the first half and that's our Achilles heel right now. So going forward we have to cut those down and we'll do a lot better."
"Basketball is basketball," he said. "I don't care what conference you're in. That doesn't matter to me."