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N.C. State 81, Maryland 69

2/1/2004

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) -- A marvelous performance by Julius
Hodge, an uncanny display of accuracy at the free throw line and a
good bit of long-range shooting carried North Carolina State to a
rare win at Maryland.

Hodge scored 28 points and freshman Engin Atsur had a
career-high 16 Sunday to lead the Wolfpack to an 81-69 victory --
their first on the road against the Terrapins since 1989.

"To come into College Park and get a win, you have to be
hitting on all cylinders. You've got to play a complete game, and
our guys today probably played our best 40 minutes of the year,"
said N.C. State coach Herb Sendek, now 1-9 at Maryland.

Marcus Melvin scored 15 points and Scooter Sherrill added 10 --
all in the second half -- to help N.C. State (12-5, 5-2 Atlantic
Coast Conference) improve to 2-5 on the road this season.

"Coach put it up on the chalkboard that we hadn't won here in a
while, but this time we were able to get it done," Sherrill said.
"We came into this game with the disposition that there was no way
were lose."

The Wolfpack was 0-14 in College Park since Jan. 29, 1989.

N.C. State connected on 10 of 19 tries from beyond the arc and
made a season-high 92 percent of its free throws, including a
10-for-10 performance by Hodge.

Referring to his team's 23-for-25 effort at the line, Sherrill
said, "That's something we take pride in and practice all the
time. There are a lot of close games in the ACC, and that's what
makes the difference."

Jamar Smith led Maryland (11-7, 2-5) with 21 points. The
Terrapins went 2-for-14 from 3-point range and 9-for-18 at the foul
line.

"We shot close to 50 percent but we didn't make the right
shots," Maryland coach Gary Williams said. "On defense, we were a
little too passive out there at times and they made us pay."

After a driving layup by Hodge gave N.C. State the lead for good
with 11 minutes left, the Wolfpack's next six baskets were all
3-pointers.

A 3 by Sherrill made it 65-55 with 5:39 to go, but Maryland
closed to 67-63. Atsur then hit a 3-pointer for a seven-point
cushion with 2:44 left.

Nik Caner-Medley had 10 points for Maryland, which has lost four
of five. It was only the Terrapins' fourth loss in two seasons at
the Comcast Center, and by far the most lopsided.

"When a team plays better than you, regardless of if you are
home or away, you're going to lose," Caner-Medley said. "We just
have to move on."

Successive 3-pointers by Atsur and Levi Watkins gave the
Wolfpack a 41-35 lead early in the second half. Travis Garrison
answered with Maryland's initial 3-pointer of the game, and after a
tip-in by Hodge, Caner-Medley connected from long range, Smith hit
a baseline jumper and Caner-Medley made a free throw to give
Maryland its first lead, 44-43, with 14:19 remaining.

It wouldn't last. Atsur made two 3-pointers in an 11-3 run that
put the Wolfpack up 58-51 with 8:52 left.

Hodge scored 16 first-half points, and N.C. State led throughout
the opening 20 minutes before Maryland closed with a 12-4 run for a
33-33 tie.

The Wolfpack got off to an encouraging start, limiting Maryland
to 1-for-7 shooting over the opening 5 minutes while building a
13-2 lead. Melvin began the onslaught with two straight 3-pointers,
then added three free throws before the Terrapins finally scored.

"It's 9-0 before you could even blink," Williams lamented.

After Maryland closed to 23-19, Hodge kept the Wolfpack in front
by accounting for all 12 of their points over an 8-minute span.
Maryland then used a 6-0 run to get within two, but Hodge made four
foul shots for a 33-29 lead.