COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) -- Up by 17 points with 9:44 left,
Maryland (No. 21 ESPN/USA Today; No. 23 AP) appeared poised to end its two-game losing streak with an
easy win over Wake Forest.
Justin Gray had other ideas.
Gray scored a career-high 38 points, including a 3-pointer that
got the Demon Deacons within two with 2.9 seconds to go. But the
Terrapins survived the comeback and kept Wake Forest winless in the
Atlantic Coast Conference with a 90-86 victory Sunday night.
"We got them to miss some shots and we got a couple of
steals," Gray said. "If we had started the game like that, we
wouldn't have gotten down by 17. It's hard to come back from 17
against anybody, but especially at Maryland."
Mike Jones scored 22 points for the Terrapins and D.J.
Strawberry added a career-high 18, including two clinching free
throws after Gray hit his final shot.
"Justin Gray is just a phenomenal player. We've watched so much
film on him, but it's nothing like watching him in person,"
Strawberry said. "He hits unbelievable shots. He wouldn't go away
tonight, and kept his team in it until the end."
Nik Caner-Medley scored 17 points to help the Terrapins (12-4,
2-2) bounce back from losses at Miami and Duke. Maryland placed
five players in double figures, led by Jones, whose previous high
in an ACC game was 15 points.
"If you're a player and you're open, you have to take the
shot," Jones said. "Tonight that happened. A lot of us got really
As did Gray. The senior guard went 12-for-20 from the field,
including 7-for-11 from 3-point range, but it wasn't enough to
bring the Demon Deacons all the way back.
"I thought he played with a big heart," Wake Forest coach Skip
Prosser said. "A lot of our guys are playing inconsistently, but
he is not one of them."
Wake Forest center Eric Williams, who had 22 points and 20
rebounds on Wednesday at Clemson, picked up three fouls in the
opening 15 minutes and finished with 10 points and eight boards in
The last time Wake Forest (11-5, 0-3) lost its first three ACC
games was in 1990.
"No one's going to feel sorry for us," Prosser said. "This
past week hasn't been great for the Deacs."
Minutes later, McCray turned a turnover into a dunk, then added
a 3-pointer to make it 61-46.
It was 65-48 before the Demon Deacons used a 13-2 run to get
within six. Sterling Ledbetter then scored for Maryland, and after
Wake Forest missed twice on the other end, Jones made two free
throws for a 10-point cushion with 4:47 remaining.
It turned out to be barely enough.
"You just can't get down 16, 17 points. It's hard to come back
unless you play almost perfectly and they play poorly," Prosser
said. "We had some great possessions and some key stops, but they
got a couple of key rebounds."
The Terrapins played without senior forward Travis Garrison, who
received a one-game suspension for being "where he shouldn't have
been," according to coach Gary Williams. Garrison has been charged
with second-degree assault and a fourth-degree sex offense stemming
from his Oct. 27 visit to a College Park bar.
He was replaced in the starting lineup by Gist, who scored 13
Gray scored 21 in the first half, but the Terrapins got 16 from
Jones in taking a 41-38 lead.
Maryland, which fell behind 13-0 against Miami and 7-0 at Duke,
was unable to break the pattern against Wake Forest. A four-point
play by Gray and a 3-pointer by Shamaine Dukes gave the Demon
Deacons a 7-1 lead.
It was 9-3 before a three-point play by Ekene Ibekwe launched a
10-0 run that gave Maryland its first lead in three games.