The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday February 8th

Tar Heels Show Progress, Still Lose

North Carolina out-scored Maryland 47-45 in the second half Sunday, but the Terps led by 17 at halftime.

One could argue that at UNC and Maryland's first meeting on Jan. 9, the Tar Heels saw everything in the Terrapins' bag of tricks when they lost

112-79. Or that the Tar Heels' chances of winning were so slim that it wasn't worth Doherty's assistants' time.

Either way, Doherty decided to simplify things against the Terps.

"I went to strictly, what we call a three-game motion offense," Doherty said. "Just pass, cut, screen. I just felt that we haven't been executing well lately."

Doherty's Tar Heels (6-15, 2-9 in the ACC) did execute better against the Terrapins, but they still ended up the owners of a 92-77 loss. Although UNC set a school record for its most ACC losses ever, the Tar Heels did play better and kept the Terrapins from handing them their worst loss at home ever.

Maryland led by 17 at halftime, but North Carolina came out of the break strong. Jawad Williams, who exploded for his first career double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds, hit a 3-pointer from the corner 18 seconds into the half.

UNC cut the lead to 12 before the Terrapins stretched their lead to

20 points with 10:52 left in the half.

Twenty-five seconds later, North Carolina scoring leader Jason Capel fouled Maryland's Chris Wilcox under the basket. Wilcox hit both of his shots from the charity stripe, but more importantly, Capel fouled out for the first time this season.

The senior forward played just 18 minutes and scored five points on 2-for-7 shooting from the floor.

Without Capel, UNC's offensive efforts became focused on Kris Lang down low and on Williams. The duo combined for 18 of UNC's last 26 points.

The Tar Heels outscored the Terps in the second half, 47-45, but couldn't again cut the lead to less than 14. They did solve their biggest problem of the first half -- Lonny Baxter -- but didn't have enough to mount a complete comeback.

Baxter hit 5 of 8 shots for 13 points in the first half and pulled down five rebounds. In the second half, he was

1 of 4 with five boards.

"They started double teaming Lonnie," said Maryland forward Byron Mouton. "Coach was trying to tell us we didn't do much in the first half. With Lonnie double-teamed, we wanted to cut to the goal and get the offsides, back door, get the rebound, stuff like that."

The double team on Baxter was just an example of a better defensive effort from the Tar Heels, which were blown out 90-66 by Wake Forest on Wednesday.

North Carolina adjusted the way it attacked the press and tried to stick to its defensive principles. As a result, the Tar Heels finished the game with seven steals.

UNC point guard Adam Boone said Wake's 54-point first half motivated the Tar Heels to play better.

The Tar Heels also took care of the ball better. They held their ground against the Terps' press and only coughed up the ball 13 times. They turned it over 25 times in the Jan. 9 meeting.

"At this point in the season, to come back and play with heart and show some fight, I'm proud of our guys. That's a start, you have to have that," Doherty said. "If you don't have that, you aren't going to win. We showed some heart, we showed some spark, we put up a fight, and we just lost to a very talented and well-coached team."

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

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