The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday December 9th

Tar Heels Overmatched by Dixon, Terps

Maryland jumped out to a 43-18 lead before cruising to an easy victory in UNC's last game at Cole Field House.

"One, two, three. Dominate," they barked as the huddle broke.

Evidently, Gary Williams' fourth-ranked club, especially guard Juan Dixon, keeps its promises.

Dixon scored 29 points and had eight steals as North Carolina came within two points of its worst-ever ACC loss with a 112-79 drubbing at Cole Field House. The game followed UNC's worst-ever defeat at the Smith Center.

"It was different," a businesslike Dixon said as he dressed. "In the past, you usually get a tougher 40 minutes from those guys."

Maryland (12-2, 2-0 in the ACC) scored a blistering 40 points in the contest's first 10 minutes and broke the 100-point plateau with 5:01 remaining in the game. The 112-point total was the most ever allowed by UNC.

"It is hard to say after games like this that it could be worse, and it could be," said UNC coach Matt Doherty.

Even Williams didn't have to sweat this game. He called off the dogs with more than eight minutes remaining in the first half and with a 43-18 advantage. Maryland's pressure defense had already forced most of the Tar Heels' 15 first-half turnovers. They finished with 25.

"We've got to make good decisions with the basketball, and we're not doing that right now," said UNC's Jason Capel, who scored 27 points, tying a career high.

After freshman Melvin Scott committed six turnovers against Wake Forest on Saturday, Doherty started Adam Boone at point. But this time it was another freshman who had slippery fingers for the Tar Heels (5-7, 1-2) in the first half. Jawad Williams goofed five times within 1:31 after coming off the bench.

On the contrary, Maryland's point guard, Steve Blake, looked like a kid in a candy store. Blake finished one rebound short of a triple double with 12 points, a career-high 14 assists and nine boards.

"I think I did (feel superior)," Blake said with a snicker. "Getting into the lane, guys were starting to help off their man and guys were just opening up, and we were running the floor really well. Everyone was in a flow."

Everyone but the Tar Heels, that is.

The Terrapins outscored them 42-24 in the paint, 31-13 off turnovers and 26-10 on fast breaks.

"We have a veteran team, and they struggle with some young guys," Gary Williams said. "I was on the other side my first three years here. I remember being here trying to keep games under 30."

Perhaps in future seasons Doherty will speak with such understanding for opposing coaches.

He can remember that he lost by 33 in his team's last visit to the 46-year-old Cole Field House.

The Sports Editor can be reached at sports@unc.edu.

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