Hokie poking

Terps get even in ACC by sticking it to Va. Tech

Terps get even in ACC by sticking it to Va. Tech

February 14, 2009|By DAVID GINSBURG

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Desperate to get back to .500 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Maryland played with a sense of urgency against Virginia Tech.

"We knew this was a huge game for us," guard Eric Hayes said. "We just came out with a lot of energy and played as hard as we could."

The result was arguably Maryland's best overall performance of the season. Landon Milbourne scored 23 points, Greivis Vasquez had 17 and the Terrapins never trailed in an 83-73 victory Saturday.

Maryland (16-8, 5-5) played excellent defense, gathered exactly as many rebounds (31) as the Hokies and went 24-for-26 at the free throw line, including 22-for-23 in the second half.


"Both offensively and defensively, if you combine the two, that was pretty consistent on both ends," Terrapins coach Gary Williams said. "Now the free throw shooting, that really helped down the stretch. And that's probably as well as we played with the lead all year."

Maryland lost a 12-point lead against Morgan State and blew a 17-point advantage in a defeat at Miami, but this time the Terrapins had an answer after the Hokies rattled off eight straight points to close to 48-45.

A 3-pointer by Hayes and a three-point play by Milbourne blunted the comeback, and the Terrapins sealed the win at the foul line.

"There was a lot of emotion in the locker room before the game, and if that translated into playing like we played, that's great," Williams said.

Maryland is 4-1 at home in the ACC and 1-4 on the road. The Terrapins next play at Clemson before hosting North Carolina and Duke.

A.D. Vassallo led Virginia Tech (16-8, 6-4) with 20 points. Malcolm Delaney had only five points with 5 minutes left but finished with 16 to extend his ACC-best run of consecutive games in double figures to 29.

Unlike Maryland, the Hokies appeared listless. The biggest show of emotion came from coach Seth Greenberg, who angrily peeled off his jacket after calling a timeout with Virginia Tech down 41-32 with 17:31 left.

"We had no energy coming out. We had a bad week of practice, so we just got basically what we deserved."

Said Greenberg: "They took us out of what we wanted to do, and we reacted to them the whole game. I was really disappointed in our team. I thought we had no sense of urgency whatsoever on the defensive end."

The Hokies weren't much better on the offensive end. Allen had four turnovers and Delaney went 6-for-15 from the floor and had three turnovers.

"When me, Jeff and Malcolm aren't scoring, it's hard," Vassallo said. "That means somebody has got to pick it up a little more. Today Malcolm struggled a little bit and Jeff really couldn't get his game going."

Milbourne scored 14 points on 6-for-9 shooting and Vasquez had 10 points to help Maryland take a 34-29 halftime lead.

Vasquez hit a pair of 3-pointers, and Virginia Tech fell behind 14-8 after missing 10 of its first 13 shots from the floor. Soon after the Hokies closed to 17-15, a driving layup by Vasquez and a 3-pointer by Milbourne provided Maryland with a 29-21 lead.

Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti sat at his usual midcourt seat on the floor with Ravens coach John Harbaugh, who slipped on a red Maryland T-shirt during a timeout, turned around and pumped his fist toward the student section.

At halftime, Harbaugh posed for pictures and signed autographs for the students.

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