Vasquez sinks Wolfpack, 71-60
RALEIGH (AP) ó Greivis Vasquez scored 21 of his 33 points in the second half to help Maryland beat North Carolina State 71-60 on Sunday night.
Dave Neal added 11 points for the Terrapins (18-10, 7-7 Atlantic Coast Conference), who have won four of six games as they make a late-season push for a bid to the NCAA tournament. Maryland led most of the way, but needed a late push to take the lead for good with about 7 1/2 minutes left.
Tracy Smith scored 19 points to lead the Wolfpack (15-12, 5-9), who remained winless against Maryland in four tries under third-year coach Sidney Lowe.
Vasquez bounced back from a frustrating performance in Wednesday’s loss to Duke, going 13-for-23 from the field to go with five assists against the Wolfpack. By the end of the game, however, he was taunting Wolfpack fans and even buried a 3-pointer at the horn just to needle them even further.
The home fans booed him mercilessly after that, including when he gave a postgame TV interview at midcourt before running to the locker room.
Maryland has been playing for the past two weeks with the urgency of trying to improve its NCAA chances. The Terrapins got a big boost when they rallied from a 16-point deficit to beat North Carolina in overtime last weekend, but they couldn’t follow up with another resume-building win and lost to Duke 78-67 on Wednesday night.
Vasquez had a triple-double of 35 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists against the Tar Heels, but managed just 10 points and was limited by foul trouble in the loss to the Blue Devils.
On Sunday, Maryland led by nine in the first half but took only a 34-33 lead into the break. N.C. State didn’t lead until Smith scored in the paint in traffic and drew the foul for a three-point play that gave the Wolfpack a 49-47 lead with 9:15 left.
But Cliff Tucker answered with a 3-pointer on the next play, then Vasquez ó who had scored nine straight points for Maryland before that shot ó got into the lane for a score, then hit the go-ahead 3 over Courtney Fells to make it 55-52 with 7:26 left.
A few minutes later, Neal hit his third 3-pointer of the game and Vasquez found Dino Gregory inside to push the lead to 60-53.