Terps send No. 1 Tar Heels to first loss

Terps  send No. 1 Tar Heels to first loss

( AP )- Bambale Osby scored inside with 21 seconds left to help Maryland stun top-ranked North Carolina 82-80 on Saturday, handing the Tar Heels their first loss of the season.

James Gist finished with 22 points and 13 rebounds for the Terrapins (12-7, 2-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who blew an 11-point lead midway through the second half but still held on in a back-and-forth finish to win here for the first time since 2003.

Tyler Hansbrough had 17 points and 14 rebounds for the Tar Heels (18-1, 3-1), who had several chances in the final seconds to answer Osby's basket. But after Wayne Ellington missed a 3-pointer and a driving shot, North Carolina could only watch as Hansbrough's last gasp 3-pointer bounced off the rim as the horn sounded.

The miss sent the Terrapins sprinting to midcourt to celebrate, while Osby - who was one of several Terrapins defenders to bang with Hansbrough in the post - dropped to the floor with his hands over his face in jubilation.

Landon Milbourne finished with 14 points for Maryland while Greivis Vasquez had 12 points and 11 assists and Osby had 12 points and five rebounds.

Maryland hardly seemed the ideal candidate to stand up to North Carolina at the Smith Center. This was, after all, the same team that lost at home to Ohio and American in consecutive games in December. And the Tar Heels came in averaging 98 points in nine home games full of crowd-pleasing transition scores and quick baskets.

But the Terrapins brought in the conference's top field goal percentage defense that constantly doubled and bumped Hansbrough in the post, cutting off the All-American and making the Tar Heels work hard elsewhere for good looks. North Carolina struggled to respond, fighting back from a 52-41 deficit midway through the second half to take a 78-74 lead on a three-point play by Danny Green with 2 1/2 minutes left.

But Vasquez answered with a runner in the lane followed by two free throws to tie it at 78. Then - after two free throws by Gist and a basket by Hansbrough - the 6-foot-8, 250-pound Osby found himself guarded by the 6-5 Green inside on a switch. He took a feed and dropped the ball in for the 82-80 lead.

North Carolina was shooting 46 percent on the season, but managed 38 percent from the field and was 7-for-23 from 3-point range on Saturday. Hansbrough went just 6-for-15 from the field while constantly finding himself surrounded by red jerseys, perhaps best illustrated when he had to go up between three defenders to score in the paint and tie it at 80 with 51 seconds left.

North Carolina managed only one significant flurry, scoring 18 points over 4 minutes to erase the 52-41 deficit midway through the second half and tie it at 59 on Hansbrough's jumper. From there, the teams went back and forth the rest of the way, trading the lead and baskets until Osby's basket inside against Green put Maryland ahead for good.

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