COLLEGE PARK, Md. — There might come a time in the near future when Maryland fans won't feel compelled to storm the court after a home win over the 14th-ranked team in the country.
There was no holding them back Wednesday night, however, because this celebration was long overdue.
Alex Len dropped in a missed shot by teammate Pe'Shon Howard with .9 seconds left, giving the Terrapins a stunning 51-50 victory over No. 14 North Carolina State.
Howard drove the left side and came up short on a 5-foot airball, but the 7-foot-1 Len grabbed the ball in front of the rim and eased it through. After the Wolfpack failed on a desperation heave at the other end, thousands of students in the sellout crowd poured onto the court after the final buzzer to mark Maryland's first win over a ranked team since March 3, 2010, against No. 4 Duke.
Now in his second season at Maryland, coach Mark Turgeon is still trying to take the program to the level it enjoyed under predecessor Gary Williams. This win, despite being rather ugly, was a significant step in the rebuilding process.
"I didn't come here to be mediocre," Turgeon said. "I came here to do great things. We haven't done many great things since I've been here. This is a great thing."
It was lucky, too.
As Howard threw up his shot from the left side, it quickly became apparent it was going to be short.
"When he shot it, I said, 'Oh no!' Then I saw the big guy go up," Turgeon said. "Alex was in the right place at the right time."
Len, with 10 points, was the only Terrapin in double figures. Maryland led for much of the game but needed Len's basket to end N.C. State's 10-game winning streak.
Maryland has won 10 of 11 against the Wolfpack (14-3, 3-1 ACC), including five straight at home. The Terrapins had previously lost 17 straight against ranked teams.
"We hadn't won a big game since Greivis (Vasquez) was here," Turgeon said of the former ACC player of the year who graduated in 2010.
Lorenzo Brown scored 17 for N.C. State and C.J. Leslie had 13. The Wolfpack went in leading the NCAA with a 52.8 shooting percentage but shot 31.1 percent in this one.
NO. 13 BUTLER 62, RICHMOND 47: Andrew Smith scored 15 for the Bulldogs (15-2, 3-0), who used a stifling defense to pull away in their first Atlantic 10 home game. Butler played without leading scorer Rotnei Clarke, out with a severely sprained neck.
NO. 16 KANSAS ST. 67, TCU 54: Rodney McGruder scored 21 for the visiting Wildcats (14-2, 3-0 Big 12), who took control with a 19-4 run midway through the first half and won their seventh straight game.
NO. 17 MISSOURI 79, GEORGIA 62: Earnest Ross scored 15 while surviving two spills, helping the host Tigers (13-3, 2-1 SEC) rebound from a 15-point loss at Mississippi on Saturday.
NO. 18 MICH. ST. 81, PENN ST. 72: Adreian Payne scored 20 after spending the first half on the bench following a morning scuffle with teammate Brandon Dawson, and the visiting Spartans (15-3, 4-1 Big Ten) held on. Coach Tom Izzo said Dawson and Payne wouldn't be charged.
NO. 19 NEW MEXICO 79, BOISE ST. 74, OT: Tony Snell scored 22 and teamed with Hugh Greenwood for nine of the Lobos' 16 points in overtime as New Mexico (16-2, 3-0 MWC) won its third straight game.
NO. 25 MARQUETTE 69, SETON HALL 62: Reserve forward Davante Gardner scored 17 to lead the host Golden Eagles (13-3, 4-0 Big East) to their sixth straight victory.
MIAMI 60, BC 59: Durand Scott hit four free throws in the closing 30 seconds and drew an offensive foul to help the visiting Hurricanes (13-3, 4-0 ACC) extend their best conference start ever.
TAMPA 69, SAINT LEO 65, OT: Da'Markco Foster had 16 points for the host Spartans (13-3, 1-3 Sunshine State), who made all five shots in overtime to stop an eight-game winning streak by the Lions (11-3, 4-1).
FLA. SOUTHERN 93, ECKERD 82: Seth Evans had 17 points to lead the host Moccasins, who pulled away from the Tritons (8-4, 2-3 SSC) in the second half after trailing for nearly the entire first.
DRAKE: Former Boston College point guard Jordan Daniels is transferring to the Bulldogs and will be eligible at the end of the fall semester next season.
GEORGETOWN: Sophomore forward Greg Whittington, who ranks second on the team in points (12.1) and rebounds (7.0) per game, was declared academically ineligible.
NO. 1 BAYLOR 90, KANSAS ST. 69: Brittney Griner scored 29 as the visiting Bears (15-1, 5-0) romped to their 27th straight regular-season Big 12 victory.
NO. 4 DUKE 58, VA. TECH 26: Elizabeth Williams scored 20 as the host Blue Devils (16-0, 5-0 ACC), the only undefeated team in Division I, won their 18th straight in the series.
NO. 18 DAYTON 95, LA SALLE 47: Amber Deane scored 20 for the host Flyers (14-1, 2-0 Atlantic 10), who shot a season-best 57.6 percent (38-of-66).
SAINT LEO 64, TAMPA 44: Teresa Manigrasso had 23 points for the Lions (8-7, 3-2 Sunshine State), who opened with a 16-0 run and never trailed the Spartans (11-2, 2-2) in their first win at Tampa since 2003.
ECKERD 54, FLA. SOUTHERN 39: Liga Vente and Rana Thomas scored 12 each for the visiting Tritons (6-6, 3-2 SSC), who made 20 of 22 free throws in the second half to pull away.