- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 29, 2004

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — For the second time in three road games, Maryland forged a halftime lead and failed to hold it against an ACC opponent — and this time Terrapins coach Gary Williams couldn’t conceal his frustration.

The Terrapins helped squander a 10-point halftime lead with 14 second-half turnovers in a 93-85 loss to Wake Forest last night, allowing the Demon Deacons to snap a four-game losing streak. Seven of the turnovers came early in the second half as Wake Forest clawed its way back into the game.

“We didn’t look like we had the same energy at the start of the second half, and I think we gave Wake a little confidence early,” Williams complained afterward. “We just didn’t play that good in the second half.”

Maryland was ahead of Georgia Tech 38-35 at halftime on Jan.17 but fell apart in the second half of a 81-71 loss.

This time a 25-point effort by freshman Chris Paul helped the Demon Deacons withstand a flurry of late 3-pointers by Maryland.

Wake Forest (12-4, 3-3 ACC) seemingly wrapped the game up on Paul’s 3-pointer with 2:23 remaining for an 82-75 lead, although a pair of 3s by John Gilchrist and one by Mike Jones drew the Terps (11-6, 2-4) dangerously close.

With the shot clock winding down, Paul improvised on his decisive basket. Taught to drive to the basket in that situation, Paul instead fired up the 3-pointer that all but snuffed Maryland’s last hope.

“Coach [Skip Prosser] always tells me at the end of the shot clock to drive,” Paul said. “But I didn’t have enough time, so thank God it went in.”

Fellow guard Justin Gray said Prosser had a few things to say at halftime, none of them complimentary.

“Coach had been pretty intense during the losing streak, and he was after us again at halftime,” Gray said. “He said the next 20 minutes were the most important we’ve played this season, and we had to get with it and go get this game.”

Gray scored 16 of his 20 points in the first half, Taron Downey added 12 points for the Deacons overall, and freshman Kyle Visser had 11.

Nik Caner-Medley led Maryland with 15 points. Travis Garrison scored 13, Gilchrist 12 and Jones 11.

The game had the usual tense atmosphere of two teams that don’t particularly care for each other and was marked by three technical fouls. Paul and Jones were tagged for pushing and shoving after a basket by Paul, and Prosser also got one for kicking the scoring table.

Eric Williams, Wake Forest’s leading scorer at 14.6 points a game, continued his recent slide. After scoring a combined 30 points in the Deacons’ first four losses, Williams found himself in foul trouble for most of the game. He played nine minutes in the first half because of two fouls, then picked up his third and fourth early in the second half and went to the bench with 16:08 to play.

Williams didn’t get back into the game until there was 1:29 to play and Wake Forest had built an 84-75 lead, partly behind Visser, who was more than adequate filling in for Williams, who finished with seven points in 13 minutes.

Maryland had its own foul troubles. Jamar Smith picked up two early that limited him to 10 minutes in the first half. He went to the bench with his third with 14:47 to play, evening out the inside battle a bit. Smith finished with 10 points before fouling out.

Gilchrist, Maryland’s leading scorer, also had foul problems and a horrible shooting night. He finished 3-for-11 from the field.

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