COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) -- North Carolina had just survived a
furious comeback by Maryland, and Raymond Felton deflected credit
for the winning basket in much the same fashion that Sean May
swatted away the game's final shot.
Felton made the tiebreaking layup with 19 seconds left and May
blocked a shot just before the buzzer, giving No. 2 North Carolina
a harrowing 85-83 victory Sunday.
May had 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Tar Heels, who
remained alone atop the Atlantic Coast Conference with their fifth
"We feel very fortunate," North Carolina coach Roy Williams
said. "That was a big block at the end, to say the least."
With the score tied at 83, Felton drove the left side of the
lane and delivered his only basket of the second half. Mike Jones
had a chance to tie it for Maryland, but his last-second shot was
swatted away by May.
"Sean is unbelievable. He does great things at the right
time," Felton said. "That time he made a big play on the
defensive end. My opinion is that is what won the game, not my
Jawad Williams scored 21 points to help the Tar Heels (24-3,
12-2) beat the Terrapins on the road for the first time since 2001.
North Carolina remained one game ahead of Wake Forest, which
defeated Virginia 90-68 earlier Sunday.
In the first game between the teams, the Tar Heels hammered the
Terrapins by 34 points at Chapel Hill. This one was closer, but
North Carolina again proved to be too talented and too deep for a
Maryland squad with one scholarship senior.
"They're the No. 2 team in the country and I want our guys to
believe they can play with them," Maryland coach Gary Williams
said. "On the last play, we had good isolation with Mike Jones.
But Sean made a great play."
The Tar Heels led 76-68 with 5 minutes left before the Terrapins
used three straight 3-pointers to go up 81-80 with 1:33 to go --
their first lead since 29-28.
Williams then hit a 3-pointer for North Carolina, but a tip-in
by Ekene Ibekwe tied it at 83 with 41 seconds remaining.
That set the stage for the thrilling finish.
"Jones came over and got a clean look," May said. "I knew he
had to put the shot up; he didn't have time enough to pass it. I
was able to get a clean block."
The Tar Heels finished with a 44-35 edge on the boards, led by
May, who recorded his 11th double-double of the season.
"He's about as athletic as a small elephant," joked Roy
It sure didn't seem that way to Maryland, who had no one in the
middle to match up with the 6-foot-9 center.
"The rebounding advantage was big for us," Roy Williams said.
It was the 21st straight game in which North Carolina had at
least four players score in double figures, and the Tar Heels did
it without leading scorer Rashad McCants, who missed a second
straight game with an intestinal disorder. David Noel scored a
season-high 12 points and Felton had 10.
After Maryland pulled even at 65, the Tar Heels used an 11-3 run
to make it 76-68 with 5:02 remaining. Noel, who came in averaging
4.3 points per game, had a dunk and a 3-pointer in the surge.
In the first half, Caner-Medley and Gilchrist became the 40th
and 41st players to score 1,000 points at Maryland. Caner-Medley
reached the milestone by hitting a baseline jumper with 14:38 left,
and Gilchrist did it with a three-point play that gave the Terps a
29-26 lead at the 7:54 mark.
Felton then hit a jumper and 3-pointer to ignite a 9-0 run that
put the Tar Heels up 35-29.
Down 47-37 at halftime, the Terrapins twice cut the gap to six
points early in the second half. It was 57-51 before Marvin
Williams hit two free throws and Jackie Manuel made a layup to
restore the 10-point cushion.
McCray then scored four points and Jones hit two straight
3-pointers in a 14-4 spurt that tied it with 9:57 left.
But North Carolina wouldn't succumb to the noise generated by
the sellout crowd of 17,950, and improved to 6-2 on the road in the
"I always enjoy beating people on the road," Roy Williams
said. "I've always felt poise and toughness can get you through on
the road when the other team's crowd is really going crazy."
Having Sean May helps, too.