8:00 PM ET, March 5, 2005
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) -- In her first Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, Crystal Langhorne is playing like a veteran.No surprise there. She did the same all season. The freshman forward had another double-double and Jade Perry nearly matched her season high with 11 points, helping Maryland (No. 25 AP) hold off North Carolina State (No. 21 ESPN/USA Today; No. 19 AP) 63-56 Saturday night in the Atlantic Coast Conference quarterfinals. "Now, it's just one-and-done, so you really can't say it's like a regular season game," Langhorne said. "I tried not to get too nervous." Maryland (21-8) advanced to face sixth-ranked Duke in the semifinals. The Blue Devils beat Wake Forest 107-50 earlier Saturday. Two days after she was selected the league's Freshman of the Year, Langhorne had 23 points and 16 rebounds. She shot 9-of-14 and easily got the better of the Wolfpack's four-player post rotation to reach double figures in points and rebounds for the 16th time this season. "Crystal's been steady every game she comes out to play," Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. "She continues just to progress and be solid as a rock, as she has all of the conference season." Leading scorer Shay Doron had another rough outing against NC State and finished with 10 points on 4-of-12 shooting. In the earlier matchup, won 67-55 by the Wolfpack, Doron was only 1-for-12 for two points. But her final basket in this one was the biggest. With the Terrapins' lead down to one in the final minute, Doron drove in the lane and lofted an off-balanced one-hander. The ball bounced around the rim before dropping through, and when Kendra Bell's 3-pointer missed everything on the other end, sixth-seeded Maryland had control. Kalika France sealed the victory by racing ahead of the pack for a layup with 19 seconds left, and she was fouled on the play. When her free throw was off, she raced in for the rebound, and the Terrapins held on. Bell led third-seeded NC State (21-7) with 15 points, and Tiffany Stansbury added 11. "We needed another perimeter play to really step up for us and hit some shots," NC State coach Kay Yow said. Earlier, a rough defensive possession for the Wolfpack appeared to give them energy. Trailing 51-43, they had three different players called for fouls in a span of about 30 seconds, and they also allowed an offensive rebound. The third foul was their seventh of the half and put Maryland's Jade Perry on the line for one-and-one, but she missed the first. On the other end, Bell pulled up for a jumper just inside the paint to cut the margin to six, and after France clanged a 3-pointer off the rim, Khadija Whittington powered inside and forced a foul by Perry. Whittington missed both shots, but NC State continued to play aggressively. Billie McDowell slapped the ball away from Ashleigh Newman for a steal, Bell drove for a layup and Stansbury got loose inside for a basket over Langhorne, and the Wolfpack were within four. Later, after another miss by France, Bell swished her third 3 of the game to cut the margin to one. "Just looking at the game, I felt like I needed to score more," said Bell, who came in averaging only seven points. "So I just tried to take what was open." NC State missed a chance to take its first lead of the second half when Stansbury couldn't covert from in close -- with Bell wide open in the corner -- and Perry followed a miss by Smith to make it 57-54. Perry's previous best of 12 points came against Wake Forest, and that was one of only two games in double figures in the regular season. In this one, she proved to be the perfect complement to Langhorne, added six rebounds and missing only one of her six free throws. Frese also was pleased with her defense, which held the Wolfpack to 39 percent shooting. "They've made a commitment to defense," Frese said. "It's definitely showing with our energy and intensity. We came out ready to defend with a lot of emotion and a lot of intensity. And it's exciting to see this team coming together at the right point in the season."
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