Jeff Bzdelik coaches CJ Harris during Wake Forest's first round loss to Maryland - USA TODAY Sports
Turnovers and missed free throws doom Wake Forest's chances in the first round of the 2013 ACC Tournament.
GREENSBORO-- Dez Wells had 21 points and 4 rebounds to help lead the Maryland Terrapins over the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in the ACC Tournament on Thursday night. The Terrapins advance to play Duke in the quarterfinals here on Friday.
"We came out with energy," Terrapin coach Mark Turgeon said, "started the second half, got our offense going, weren't quite as good defensively until the end."
Wake Forest took a 52-51 lead after a Madison Jones bucket with 10:02 remaining. However, that would be the last Deacon field goal until Devin Thomas laid the ball in with 1:36 left, and the game out of reach. The Deacons turned the ball over 9 times in the second half, and to make matters worse shot a woeful 12-21 from the foul line (57.1 percent) for the game.
C.J. Harris led the Deacons with 19 points and 5 rebounds, while Devin Thomas added 14 points and 4 assists. Wake Forest shot 42.6 percent from the floor while turning the ball over 14 times.
"I thought we tried to force a little bit too much on the break," Wake Forest coach Jeff Bzdelik said. "We got stops defensively and then we turned it over unnecessarily on the break, not making good decisions, trying to just force the action too much, instead of just pulling it out and playing off two feet and making short passes, and we wasted some valuable possessions there."
The game was the last in a Deacon uniform for senior Harris, who will graduate without ever experiencing an ACC Tournament win. Following the game, Bzdelik was adamant that better days were ahead for his team.
"We have built a really strong foundation without compromising any values or integrity at Wake Forest University and there is a very bright future," Bzdelik said. "There is a great majority of the fans that we hear from that are very, very supportive. It's been reflected in the attendance at our home games and they're behind these young men. These young men are committed to Wake forest, they're committed to working hard and there is a bright future, the right way."