9:00 PM ET, January 15, 2003
Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Winston-Salem, NC
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) -- First Maryland (No. 15 ESPN/USA Today, No. 17 AP) lost the game to end its streak of 14 straight Atlantic Coast Conference wins.Then the defending national champions lost their cool. Senior guard Steve Blake had to be restrained from going after Wake Forest's Josh Howard after the game and Terrapins coach Gary Williams bitterly complained about the officials following Maryland's 81-72 loss to Wake Forest (No. 19, No. 20) on Wednesday night. "I'm not going to talk about it," said Blake, who was called for a technical with 15 seconds to play for jawing on the court. But Williams, who was called for his own technical midway through the second half, had plenty to say, volunteering an exchange he had with a referee he declined to identify. "We had a referee tell us he'd see us next week in a threatening manner," Williams said. "I'm a little tired of the rule the ACC has about (not) commenting on officiating and this is the first time I've commented." Williams refused to say which official he was upset with, but Doug Showes called both technicals against Maryland. Asked if he planned to contact ACC officials about the alleged threat, Williams said his complaint would probably not make a difference. "I have a hard time getting in contact, you know?" he said. "We're up there in Alaska at Maryland, so sometimes I have trouble." Howard scored 23 points to help Wake Forest snap its seven-game losing streak against Maryland. Wake Forest (11-1, 1-1) was coming off its first loss of the season, 99-78 to No. 1 Duke on Sunday, but bounced right back by beating Maryland for the first time since 1998. "I never promised they'd be pretty and this certainly was not, but any time you beat the national champions, I'm proud," Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser said. "And I'm proud that they showed the wherewithal to come back up off the canvas (from the Duke loss)." It was Maryland's first league loss since last Jan. 17, when the Terrapins (9-4, 2-1) lost to Duke. Up next for Maryland? The Blue Devils on Saturday. "It's a huge game for us," Blake said. "Another huge game for us and we better be ready." Maryland wasn't ready against Wake Forest, which outrebounded the Terrapins 49-36, and put them in a 17-point hole midway through the second half. Maryland cut it to 73-71 on Tahj Holden's 3-pointer with 2:46 to play and it seemed like the young Demon Deacons were just holding on. With the shot clock winding down, Wake's Taron Downey launched a shot that was wide-left of the basket and gave Maryland a chance to take the lead. But Blake -- who turned to his defender after a 3-pointer in the first half and said "I can't miss" -- did miss on a 3-point attempt, Wake Forest got the rebound and Vytas Danelius was fouled. He made both free throws to give the Deacons a 75-71 lead. The Deacons sealed it with free throws from there in a tense finish that saw Blake called for a technical and Williams having to be restrained by his staff after the call. Blake also charged at Howard at midcourt while the teams were shaking hands, but anyone who knew what it was about declined to comment. "It was just a little words, that's all," Howard said. "We settled it on the court." Prosser said he had no idea what the exchange was about, starting with the technical on Blake that came during a stop in play. "I didn't see it, but it was a competitive game, it's a pretty competitive league and I think the one thing that makes this league special is its competitiveness," Prosser said. Danelius finished with 19 points, Eric Williams had 16 and Jamaal Levy added 12 points and 11 rebounds for Wake, which improved to 9-0 at home this season. Blake led Maryland with 15 points and Calvin McCall added 10. The Deacons were without starting guard Justin Gray, who broke his jaw in the loss to Duke and could only sit silently at the end of the bench, his mouth wired shut. It caused a shift in Wake Forest's lineup. Howard had to move from forward to guard to fill in for Gray and Levy came off the bench to start at forward. "I think we played hard for Justin," Howard said. "We just went out there and fought hard and I think a lot of us remember when they came out here last year and beat us in the mouth."
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||26-68 (.382)||22-58 (.379)|
|3P Made-Attempted||8-21 (.381)||3-19 (.158)|
|FT Made-Attempted||12-18 (.667)||34-42 (.810)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||26 (2/0)||20 (0/0)|