This game is an extremely fond memory for me. I was a wet behind the ear freshman at Maryland. And as I have mentioned one more than one occasion Gary Williams and Joe Smith helped me to decide to “Take my talents to College Park”. When we got our schedule poster that year, this was the game everyone was waiting for. It was the first time I had the awesome experience of sleeping in Cole for tickets. That’s right I said awesome experience. Truth be told, there wasn’t much sleeping as we played monopoly numerous times. We walked around the concourse watching the OT game with our next opponent. North Carolina was playing Duke the very night we were sleeping out for tickets. UNC was #1 and Duke, well, let’s just say Coach K, saw that his team wasn’t very good that year and suddenly it was time for back surgery. Anyway, Jeff Capel hit a half court shot at Cameron to send it to OT. It was a great ending and in the end UNC won. To make the night better, Gary delivered pizza to people, and some of the players walked through the line to thank the students for being there.
Of course had they not won this game on February 7, 1995, that experience of sleeping out for tickets would have been not nearly as fun. Anyway, the place was electric. The student section was filled a full two hours before tip off. Every time a player walked down the steps to the floor on the way to the locker room the place erupted. It was the most electric thing I had ever seen at that time. To make things better, Exree Hipp started the game off with a fast break dunk off the tip. Then Carolina took the crowd out of the game until late in the first half when the Terps went on an 18-2 run keyed by Johnny Rhodes and Duane Simpkins draining three pointers. It was not until late in the game when Duane Simpkins hit a layup and was fouled and Keith Booth picked him up while Simpkins arms and legs were flailing in excitement did I know we were going to win it. In the end the Terps won this one 86-73. We rushed the court, nearly got trampled, but it was well worth it. I have a framed poster of all the students on the court, and you can see the poor Carolina players in their powder blue uni’s trying to make the way off the court. As far as my time as a student, this game is #1 on my list. Joe Smith finished with 14 points and 16 rebounds, while Rhodes and Simpkins each added 21 points in the victory. It was a night, I will never forget.