(22) Maryland 75

(9-3, 1-1 ACC)

(3) North Carolina 109

(13-1, 2-0 ACC)

12:00 PM ET, January 8, 2005

Dean E. Smith Center, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

1 2 T
#22MD 34 4175
#3UNC 47 62109

Top Performers

Maryland: J. Gilchrist 11 Pts, 4 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl

North Carolina: R. McCants 19 Pts, 2 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

McCants leads Tar Heels to rout of Terrapins

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -- For the previous six games, North Carolina (No. 4 ESPN/USA Today; No. 3 AP) hammered the opposition expecting that the Atlantic Coast Conference season would be more demanding.

But on Saturday, the Tar Heels made a ranked league team look just as helpless as their other opponents.

Rashad McCants scored 19 points to lead seven players in double figures in the Tar Heels' 109-75 rout of Maryland (No. 21 ESPN/USA Today; No. 22 AP), a blowout that was the latest in a growing string of impressive victories.

The Tar Heels (13-1, 2-0) had their highest scoring output ever against the Terrapins (9-3, 1-1), and were two points from matching their biggest margin of victory in the series. It was also the most points Maryland had allowed in any game in the past 14 years.

"We wanted to send a statement out that we're a better basketball club than we were last year," said Sean May, who had 14 points. "There were a lot of question marks about this team because we've had the talent for a few years and haven't really lived up to it. And we used every excuse in the book.

"Our statement was: This team's for real, we're going to get better every day in practice and treat every game as a chance to get better."

As of now, that's a scary thought for the rest of the league. The Tar Heels have won 13 straight games -- most by lopsided margins -- since a loss to Santa Clara in the season opener. On Saturday, North Carolina shot 57 percent, went 10-for-20 from 3-point range, had a 49-28 rebounding edge and led by as many as 42 points.

The Tar Heels got production throughout the lineup. Raymond Felton added 12 points and six assists, and had little trouble pushing the ball through Maryland's trapping defense. Jawad Williams had 13 points while freshman Marvin Williams added 12.

Even reserve Reyshawn Terry -- who came in averaging two points and five minutes a game -- finished with 11 points and keyed a 29-5 run spanning halftime that gave the Tar Heels a huge lead.

North Carolina has now cracked the 100-point mark three straight times, the first time that has happened since the Tar Heels' national title season in 1992-93. It was North Carolina's biggest victory margin against a ranked opponent since beating Florida State 103-55 in January 1998.

"We're extremely happy with what went on," coach Roy Williams said, "and I'm extremely impressed with my team."

The Terrapins led by five with about 9 minutes left in the first half, but nothing went right after that. That included Nik Caner-Medley's shorts, which were on backward the entire game and drew mocking chants from the raucous student section.

Maryland shot just 38 percent, including 2-for-22 from 3-point range.

"I was on the bench, and I was looking at the scoreboard and (thinking), 'This game is on ESPN and it's a conference game," said Travis Garrison, who scored 13 points for the Terrapins. "It's a big game, and it's hard to look at a score like that.

"I tip my hat. They played real hard and they just took it to us."

Still, the Tar Heels didn't get off to a great start. They committed 15 first-half turnovers against Maryland's aggressive defense, which helped the Terrapins get out in transition and take a 29-24 lead.

It led an angry Roy Williams to break a clipboard during a timeout to fire up his team.

But once the Tar Heels stopped making mistakes, they turned the game into a display of their romping, up-tempo offense.

After Chris McCray stripped McCants of the ball on the wing, Williams pulled his star in favor of Terry, a 6-foot-7 sophomore.

Terry quickly responded, hitting a jumper in the lane to start the big run. Shortly after, Terry tipped out a rebound to save the possession, then sunk a 3-pointer for a 32-30 lead that had the fans chanting his name.

"Coach has always said be ready," Terry said. "I just took that motivation and ran with it."

From there, Felton got the Tar Heels going, assisting on a transition slam by Jawad Williams and scoring a layup off an alley-oop pass by McCants off a turnover.

Maryland went 1-for-11 the rest of the half and trailed 47-34 at the break. The Tar Heels opened the second half with four three-point plays in the first 3½ minutes by pushing the ball upcourt, taking a 20-point lead that would only grow as the game continued.

"Carolina got a lot of momentum before halftime," Maryland coach Gary Williams said. "Then we came out and didn't play well early, and that was the game."

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 75 109
FG Made-Attempted 27-71 (.380) 39-69 (.565)
3P Made-Attempted 2-22 (.091) 10-20 (.500)
FT Made-Attempted 19-26 (.731) 21-25 (.840)
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (0/0) 17 (0/0)
Largest Lead 5 42

2004-05 Season

» Jan 8, 2005 @UNC 109, MD 75Recap
Feb 27, 2005 UNC 85, @MD 83Recap