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Monday, February 23, 2009

Tar Heels collapse at Maryland

Posted by on Mon, Feb 23, 2009 at 2:23 AM

TV/ABC — Carolina's run of good fortune finally ended.

The Tar Heels, recently prone to long defensive lapses, had the mistiming to play poorly on both ends of the court in a disastrous second half that cost them a 16-point lead — and ultimately the game — on Saturday at Maryland. The Terps battled to send the game into overtime and ultimately prevailed 85-82.

There weren't many high points in the game for UNC. The Heels allowed Maryland to shoot an eye-gouging 62 percent shooting in the second half, and they uncharacteristically shot just 38 percent themselves while also missing critical free throws and committing 15 turnovers.

As was the case in Carolina's previous two losses, to Boston College and Wake Forest, a lead guard had a huge game for the opposition. Maryland's Greivis Vasquez played the part of LeBron James, tossing in a triple-double with 35 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.

For Carolina, Tyler Hansbrough was unable to get going offensively. He shot just 4-for-12 en route to only 11 points, although he did corral 11 rebounds. The starting backcourt, Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington, shot just 12-for-31 themselves. And the team handed out a paltry five assists for the game.

In short, it may have been the worst performance of the season, and it happened at a point when teams ideally are gearing up for serious NCAA Tournament runs. Carolina's chances aren't necessarily diminished by losing on Saturday, of course, but one more slip in the regular season and the Heels may not earn a No. 1 seed.

The Heels get a full week off to hear the shouting voice of Roy Williams, who was visibly angry after the game, and they take on a struggling Georgia Tech team at home next Saturday.

To see the UNC/Maryland box score, click here.

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