CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Drew Nicholas scored 20 points and Steve Blake added 17 as No. 11 Maryland bucked an unfriendly Atlantic Coast Conference road trend to post an 81-66 over North Carolina.
The Terrapins (11-4, 4-1 ACC) avoided a letdown after their victory over top-ranked Duke on Saturday by getting off to a fast start.
Maryland led by as many as 17 points in the first half and, after the Tar Heels' freshman Raymond Felton cut the deficit to 41-39 2:52 into the second half, the Terps responded with a 14-2 burst.
Freshman John Gilchrist's free throws with 10:48 to go supplied Maryland with a 55-41 bulge and capped the run.
"Maryland's a great team," Felton said. "We got down big in the first half and it's hard to come back on a team like that."
The Terps' third straight victory over the Tar Heels illustrated the recent reversal of fortunes between the teams. The last time Maryland won three straight in the series since Jay McMillen scored 28 points in a 91-80 victory at Carmichael Auditorium on January 30, 1965.
Current Maryland coach Gary Williams grabbed seven rebounds in that game.
"I thought we did a good job preparing for this game after our win Saturday," Williams said. "We knew how well Carolina played against Connecticut to win that game, so we thought this would be a very difficult game, and we were right."
Ryan Randle finished with 16 points for the Terrapins, who notched just the fourth road win for an ACC team in 18 conference games this season.
Freshman Rashad McCants scored 26 points and Jawad Williams chipped in with 18 as North Carolina (11-6, 2-2) was denied its 500th conference victory.
"For awhile I thought we had them down, but they handled our runs well," McCants said.
With the Terps leading, 14-12, Nicholas paced a 12-0 run with a pair of 3-pointers. Tahj Holden's reverse layup gave them a 26-12 cushion with 9:41 to go.
"We got in too big a hole and we couldn't get out of it," Jawad Williams said.
They took their largest lead at 37-20 on Calvin McCall's 3-pointer with 3:27 left.
Maryland went 7-of-18 from 3-point range and shot 51 percent (30-of-59) from the field overall. Holden contributed 11 points and Randle pulled down 10 boards as the Terrapins held a 45-35 rebounding advantage.
North Carolina began its scramble back when Felton hit two free throws with 3:10 to go, beginning a 19-4 run that culminated with Felton's 3-pointer with 17:08 left to play.
"They just won't quit," Gary Williams said. "We had them down a couple of times where we felt like if we could score, that would be it. But they kept coming back."
Felton scored North Carolina's first eight points of the second half and finished with 14, seven rebounds, six assists and three steals.
The freshman's heroics weren't enough, however, as the Terrapins began to assert themselves inside.
A runner and a driving layup by Gilchrist ignited the decisive 14-2 burst in which 12 of the points came from within the paint, including four on a short jumper and a tip-in by the 6-9 Randle.
"It's a tough matchup because of their size," Tar Heels coach Matt Doherty said. "They've got a fabulous and experienced team."
The Tar Heels managed to cut it to eight twice thereafter, but could get no closer as the Terrapins notched their first conference road win of the season.
North Carolina shot 35 percent (23-of-66) from the field and had its four-game home winning streak halted.