College Park, MD – Alex Len put back Pe'Shon Howard's acrobatic attempt with 0.9 seconds left as Maryland rallied past No. 14 North Carolina State, 51-50, at the Comcast Center.
Len, Maryland's leading scorer, tallied the Terrapins' final six points, none bigger than his uncontested layup after three North Carolina State defenders flew at a floating Howard, who dribbled to his left and let go a difficult shot that didn't draw rim before falling into the hands of his teammate.
"(Howard) said it was a pass, I don't know what it was. I just tipped it in," Len remarked.
Len led the Terrapins (14-3, 2-2 ACC) with 10 points along with grabbing six rebounds, while Seth Allen added nine points and Shaquille Cleare donated eight in a win that snapped a two-game skid.
Lorenzo Brown scored 17 points with eight rebounds and four assists, while C.J. Leslie posted 13 points and five rebounds for the Wolfpack (14-3, 3-1), who were coming off the emotional 84-76 victory over then-No. 1 Duke last Saturday.. Richard Howell added eight points and 13 rebounds
Howell tried to get off a quick 3-pointer before the final horn, but the shot came after time expired.
"Obviously it's disappointing," said NC State coach Mark Gottfried. "I think the guys played really hard, and I thought we battled as hard as we could battle on a night where offensively, we couldn't do a lot of things right."
A first half of offensive futility was marked by two scoring droughts, the first that put the visitors in an early hole. The Wolfpack missed their first seven shots as Maryland opened a 10-0 edge punctuated by Cleare's layup.
Maryland later went through an even longer period of ineptitude in missing 16 straight shots, including several at close range and others taken from long range at the end of stagnant possessions. Yet by the time Howard ended the drought with a slashing layup with 4:03 left in the first half, the home team still held a 16-13 advantage.
The Terrapins took a 22-16 lead into the locker room despite shooting just 30 percent from the floor and missing all six of their 3-point attempts. North Carolina State scored just 16 points, well below its average, thanks to a 7- of-31 shooting effort.
Dez Wells' layup gave the Terrapins a 42-32 advantage with just over 9 1/2 minutes to go, but the Wolfpack went nearly exclusively to a 2-3 zone and rattled off a 16-3 spurt to seize the lead. Howell's offensive rebound and putback tied the game at 45-45, and Scott Wood's 3-pointer put NC State with 4:35 left to play.
Maryland scored the next four points, with Len's dunk putting the Terrapins up one, but Brown answered with a short jumper to push the visitors back in front. Wood then missed a three, but a big offensive rebound by Howell gave the Wolfpack a new shot clock. Wood missed again, and a loose ball foul on Howell gave Maryland the basketball with 12.4 seconds to go trailing 50-49.
After a Wolfpack foul, Howard's miss and Len's make gave the Terrapins the victory.
The Wolfpack, a 53 percent shooting team on the season, made just 31.1 percent of their shots on the game ... North Carolina State freshman T.J. Warren went scoreless on 0-of-6 shooting ... Maryland leads the all-time series, 77-73 ... Wells, who came into the game averaging 12.2 points per game, managed just four points on 2-of-10 shooting for the Terrapins.