- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 18, 2004

ATLANTA — Success continues to be Maryland’s “demon.” The Terrapins once again couldn’t follow one big victory with a second.

No.12 Georgia Tech used a late 14-0 run to beat Maryland 81-71 last night before 9,191 at Alexander Memorial Coliseum as the Terps failed to replicate Wednesday night’s 90-84 big win over No.9 North Carolina. Coach Gary Williams said the young team needs to learn consistency.

“I’m not sure we know how to respond from the Carolina game the other night,” Williams said. “We have to have the same enthusiasm even though we’re not playing on front of our fans.”

Said guard John Gilchrist: “It’s a sign of immaturity. We need to get past this. It’s a demon of success. We put too much pressure on ourselves.”

The Terps (10-4, 1-2) must regroup quickly. Maryland will meet No.2 Duke (14-1, 4-0) Wednesday night at Comcast Center. The Blue Devils should become No.1 after North Carolina defeated top-ranked Connecticut 86-83 yesterday. Maryland has beaten Duke at home the last two years, and both years the Blue Devils were ranked No.1.

Maryland made many of the same mistakes that cost it earlier games. The outside defense was spotty in letting Georgia Tech convert nine 3-pointers. The offense went silent for four minutes with four turnovers during Georgia Tech’s decisive streak.

“We got away from running our offense,” Williams said. “We’re not a great one-on-one team this year. There isn’t a Juan Dixon out there that can break a team down. We have to come off screens at the right time, and none of that was happening. I didn’t like our shot selection tonight. I didn’t like much about our offense.”

Gilchrist’s career-high 27 points proved Maryland’s only steady scoring source as he split Georgia Tech’s man defense with layups. Center Jamar Smith (seven points, five rebounds) and forward Nik Caner-Medley (five points, six rebounds) were frustrated by Georgia Tech’s 7-foot-1 center, Luke Schenscher (15 points, 11 rebounds). The Terps’ big men made only three of 22 shots. Maryland outrebounded the Yellow Jackets 46-43 but couldn’t work inside regularly in converting only 36.2 percent.

“We took a lot of bad shots,” Smith said.

Neither team matched its usual fast tempo as defenses provided few second chances. After all, Maryland entered sixth nationally in field goal defense (36.7 percent) with Georgia Tech just one-tenth percent behind. The Yellow Jackets used several “tricky” defenses while shutting down Maryland late.

“You hear all the time about whether it’s better to have tricky plays or tricky players,” Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt said. “Give me tricky players over tricky plays any time.”

Georgia Tech (14-2, 2-1 ACC) countered Maryland’s frontcourt with streaks of 3-pointers, including four midway through the second half. However, three straight layups proved the backbreaker in giving the Yellow Jackets a 65-55 lead with 6:58 remaining.

Guard Will Bynum scored nine points during Georgia Tech’s 14-0 run to put away Maryland. Bynum’s 25 points led the Yellow Jackets as he made all five 3-point attempts while playing 20 minutes. Guard Jarrett Jack added 17 points.

“That was crazy,” Schenscher said. “I couldn’t believe that. Will just couldn’t miss — hands in his face and everything. He was just unbelievable.”

It was a startling turnaround given that Maryland led 55-53 with 9:41 left after rallying from an early 21-10 deficit. The Terps led for 14 minutes in threatening to win their first ACC road game this season. Instead, they fell apart and did not score a field goal for 6:48 before Gilchrist finally made a layup with 2:53 remaining.

“They weren’t doing anything,” Caner-Medley said. “Our shots weren’t dropping. When things aren’t going well, sometimes you tend to panic a little bit.”

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