North Carolina defeats Maryland, loses Henson

North Carolina easily defeated Maryland 85-69 in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament Friday, but may have lost one of their keys to winning the event.

John Henson, the two-time ACC defensive player of the year, landed on his left wrist, resulting in a sprain, after being fouled by Ashton Pankey five minutes into the first half while attempting a layup. Coach Roy Williams said X-rays taken of Henson’s wrist at halftime showed no breaks.

Henson said he’s not sure if he will play in Saturday’s semifinal game between the top-seeded Tar Heels (28-4) and fifth-seeded North Carolina State.

“We’ll see,” said Henson, who averaged 14.2 points, 10.3 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game during the regular season. “You always have to be cautious. My teammates have to step up, but I think I will be fine.”

Henson stayed in the game after the injury and made both free throws, but left the game a minute later. Henson walked off holding his wrist. He was taken to the locker room and returned a few minutes later.

He tested the wrist by palming a basketball, and then gave an assistant coach the thumb’s up sign. He re-entered the game, but left after a few seconds.

The Tar Heels didn’t need him. They had a 10-point lead at halftime that they stretched to 18 less than three minutes into the second half.

Behind Terrell Stoglin, who finished with 30 points, the Terrapins cut North Carolina’s lead to seven with less than 13 minutes remaining, but the Tar Heels answered with an 9-0 run in which four different players scored to secure the victory.

“We obviously lost to a great team today that, quite honest with you, seems to get better every time we play them,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said.

Harrison Barnes and Reggie Bullock led North Carolina with 15 points each. Five Tar Heels players scored at least 13 points, including Kendall Marshall, who also had 12 assists to hit 311 for the season and set the conference’s single-season assists record. He broke the previous mark (303) set by Georgia Tech’s Craig Neal in 1987-88.

North Carolina got a solid effort from James Michael McAdoo, who filled in for Henson and finished with 14 points and eight rebounds.

“McAdoo brings different things to us,” Marshall said. “He’s able to face up and slash to the basket, and I think he showed that on several occasions.

“I won’t say it’s a big difference in losing something; it’s just that they’re two different players.”