No. 6 UNC handles Maryland, awaits DukeMar 1, 2012 - 4:22 AM North Carolina pulled away to rout Maryland on Wednesday, 88-64, picking up steam for its upcoming winner-take-all showdown with Duke.
The Tar Heels (26-4, 13-2 ACC) kept pace with No. 4 Duke atop the conference standings ahead of their game Saturday night in Durham, which will decide the regular season ACC champion.
John Henson added 19 points, Reggie Bullock scored 12 and Harrison Barnes had 10 for North Carolina, which is 6-0 since losing to Duke February 8 on Austin Rivers' buzzer-beating three.
Nick Faust scored 17 points to lead Maryland (16-13, 6-9) and Terrell Stoglin had 16, but the Terrapins fell to 3-6 in their last nine. Their final regular season game is Sunday at home against No. 24 Virginia.
North Carolina guard Kendall Marshall set the single-season school record for assists after getting eight helpers in the game. Marshall has 289 assists to break Ed Cota's previous record of 284 from the 1999-2000 season.
Marshall, a sophomore, set the new mark on UNC's first bucket of the second half, scored by Barnes. The Tar Heels pulled away throughout the second half, allowing several of the seniors to have nice moments at the end of the game.
Patrick Crouch jumped up and down with his arms at his side after knocking down a three-pointer on the right side, and David Dupont's three from the left wing at the buzzer sent the crowd into a final frenzy.
"I feel great about the win and great about the seniors, for sure," said UNC coach Roy Williams. "I'm glad that [Dupont's] shot went in and I'm glad that [Crouch's] went in."
Despite all the excitement at the end, North Carolina had control from the start.
The Tar Heels opened the game on a 16-4 burst over the first 7 1/2 minutes. Henson and Zeller both scored six points during the run and Marshall hit Bullock for an alley-oop dunk to end it.
Maryland climbed back, getting within five, but North Carolina pushed its lead to 12 on James Michael McAdoo's fastbreak dunk and went up 36-23 on Bullock's three-pointer from the right side.
The Tar Heels carried a 36-25 advantage into the break behind 15 points from Zeller and 10 from Henson. Stoglin led the Terps with 10 points.
Maryland was within single digits until Marshall's three-pointer made it 51-40 with under 13 minutes to play. That sparked a 21-2 run that put the game away, giving the Tar Heels a 69-42 advantage inside eight minutes.
North Carolina is 5-4 all-time in games played on Feb. 29...UNC leads the all- time series with Maryland, 117-57, and has won nine of the last 13 meetings.
- MARYLAND: 64
NORTH CAROLINA: 88
Feb 29 9:07 PM
- MARYLAND: 25
NORTH CAROLINA: 36
Feb 29 7:51 PM
- MARYLAND: 0
NORTH CAROLINA: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Feb 29 7:03 PM
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