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Maryland holds off late Virginia charge for 74-68 win

The Maryland men's basketball team clinched at least a share of the ACC regular season title Saturday at John Paul Jones Arena after defeating the Cavaliers by six points. There were some pretty tense moments during the second half -- especially in the final minute when a technical foul was called on UVA Coach Tony Bennett for the first time in his career.

But tense moments are nothing new to the Terrapins, given their recent stretch of games, and as has been their custom in tight contests for most of the conference season, Maryland pulled out the victory.

Senior guard Greivis Vasquez led the way with 23 points, and now the Terrapins must return to College Park and await the outcome of tonight's Duke-North Carolina game. If Duke wins, Maryland will share the regular season conference championship and be the No. 2 seed in next week's ACC tournament. If Duke loses, Maryland will win the regular season crown outright.

"I think we were probably mentally tired," Coach Gary Williams said. "I don’t think we were physically tired. You look at our last six games and how they went. It’s as crazy a six-game stretch as I’ve ever been in. You have to deal with it. We probably could have used playing Sunday. We could have given them Thursday off; that type of thing after the Duke game, but it wasn’t that way so we show up today and play. That’s why I’m proud of the guys. It was a very difficult situation to be in for us today to play. To Virginia’s credit, they did everything they could to win the game."

Three Up:

1) Greivis Vasquez. The senior guard scored 13 of his game-high 23 points during a second half in which it appeared as though the Terrapins might falter yet again in Charlottesville. He shot 7 for 18 from the field, but made key three-pointers down the stretch and a clutch pair of free throws with less than a minute left in the game.

"No matter how he’s playing, in the last five minutes he’s willing to put it out there," Williams said. :In other words, if he misses some of those shots he looks pretty bad in those situations, but that’s never been part of Greivis. He likes the attention. We all know that. But he is willing to take the heat when things don’t go well, and that’s what you get with Greivis."

2) Second half free-throw shooting. Maryland shot 14 for 16 from the charity stripe in the second half, which proved to be critical in a game that steadily became close as the clock wound down. Sean Mosley, Eric Hayes and Vasquez shot a combined 14 for 14 from the foul line on the afternoon.

3) First half rebounding. Gary Williams said he felt the Terrapins could attack the offensive glass, and that's exactly what they did before the intermission. Maryland out-rebounded Virginia, 22-10, and out-scored the Cavaliers, 17-2, in second chance points in the first half. The Terrapins held an 11-3 advantage on the offensive glass before the break.

Three Down:

1) Second half defense. Virginia Coach Tony Bennett said he tightened up his frontcourt rotation and asked his players to make a more concerted effort to take the ball inside after halftime, and those moves paid considerable dividends for the Cavaliers. Virginia shot 65.2 percent from the field and 54.5 percent (6 for 11) from three-point range in the second half. The Cavaliers out-scored Maryland, 18-10, in points in the paint after the intermission, and that played a large role in them being able to trim Maryland's lead down to one point with less than a minute to play.

2) Suit jacket tantrums. Bennett was charged with the first technical foul of his coaching career with 38.6 seconds left in regulation and his team trailing by one point. Virginia forward Jerome Meyinsse had just been called for a blocking foul, and Bennett let loose. He said he thought Jamie Luckie -- the referee who whistled Meyinsse for the foul -- was not looking and so he tore off his suit jacket and flung it to the ground. Bennett apparently was wrong, as Luckie then whistled the Virginia bench for a technical foul, which gave Maryland four consecutive free throws. Vasquez shot the technical foul shots. Mosley shot the blocking foul shots. They went 4 for 4, and suddenly Maryland's lead stood at five.

3) Losing streaks. Maryland had not won at Virginia since 2006. That pattern is no more.

By Steve Yanda  |  March 6, 2010; 5:11 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Duke win gives Maryland No. 2 seed in ACC tournament


Breaking a losing streak is one of the "three down"? Huh? How about Landon Milbourne's continued poor play as the third "down"? 1 for 7 from the floor, 3 for 6 from the line, in a game when the Terps needed him to step up. Is he playing with an injury we haven't heard about, or is there some other issue?

Posted by: MBP1 | March 6, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

A regular season ACC championship banner is a major achievement, whether outright or co-. Big-time congratulations to everyone involved!

To me, a regular season conference championship is THE major goal every year. That is the true heart and soul reality of college basketball.

Conference tournaments, particularly the ACC's, always played down south, are tremendously secondary in my opinion.

Yes, of course NCAA tournament performance is a major benchmark, no question. Certainly in terms of how many if not most people evaluate a successful season. But to me, while I am into it, and 2002 was absolutely huge to me, in terms of year in year out importance, the conference regular season is the Main Deal. So this has been a GREAT year!

Posted by: jake177 | March 6, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

it's a shame the zebra's got into the act at the end. gawy can complain but bennett can't ? that was a terrible call

Posted by: mdoughtie22 | March 6, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

mdoughtie22 - I'm not defending the ref's T, but it's the way you go off. Bennett shouldn't have thrown his coat like that.

GW didn't throw his suit coat after the horrible charge call on the previous possession that was clearly a block because the UVa man couldn't have been more under the basket which CAN'T be a charge under the rules this year.

Posted by: jetodd24 | March 6, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Bennett threw his coat on the court. It's a no-question T period end of discussion. It's a learning experience for the young guy. His postgame demeanor showed he clearly understands this.

And I don't agree with the idea some have expressed that the T "gave us the game." The block call was clearly the right call and Maryland was money from the line. So we're up 3 instead of 5. That ensures Virginia is going to win? Right.

Posted by: jake177 | March 6, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

I love my Terps, but I have to disagree on the T, because Gary tossed his jacket last week and didn't get rung for it. Personally, I think Coach Bennett is a keeper for them and if we Maryland fans had been teed for EVERY time Coach Williams threw a piece of clothing, neither of us would be here talking right now.

But no, I believe the T had no effect on the outcome. UVA ran a 15 second play on the ensuing possession. That's their fault.


Posted by: info_stuporhighway | March 6, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Okay, so as Duke leads UNC with about 11:45 to go by 33... here is a comment for Garo.

How is it possible for Roy Williams to have THIS BAD a team? As much as I have faulted GW for his bad recruiting...and he has deserved it.... Roy has NO excuse. He can get almost all the top guys he wants. What, didn't he need ANY guards this year?

Now I won't go nuts on a guy for one very, very bad year, but we NEVER had a year this bad. 6 years with not one trip to the Sweet 16 and missing the dance 3 times is terrible. But WTF is happening at Carolina this year?

The one time we could have used them it's almost like they go in the tank for Duke!

Posted by: petecard | March 6, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse


Gary threw his coat behind him to the bench area, definitely away from the court. And it was because the Terps were playing like crap at that time, not directed at a ref's call. Massive difference there from what Bennett did on the court.

Posted by: jake177 | March 7, 2010 12:19 AM | Report abuse

A terrible call? Did you even watch the replay? The Va player was still moving across the lane when Mosley plowed into him. The Va player had no defensive position and it was the right call.

Bennett panicked and if he watches the replay, he'd be inclined to agree that it was the correct call, both on the block and on getting T'd up.

Posted by: ARickey | March 7, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

I missed the game to tour Yankee Stadium. Thought it was a game we would win and it turned out to be typically tough in Charlottesville. But a road win in the ACC is a good win, especially when it clinches a share of the ACC regular season championship.

One question: What happened to Jordan Williams? The box score makes it look like he didn't show up.

As for your comment about the "regular season," Jake177, I sure hope the people running our program don't feel like that. Your mentality really under-values what most people know is the most important measure of success, the NCAA Tournament. Bet you're hoping the Nationals and the Orioles win half their games this year. Yankee fans expect much more. I hope Terp fans do as well.

Posted by: petecard | March 7, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I think Bennett will be a solid coach for UVA, and good for the ACC. He's the last guy youd think would blow up and cost his team the game. That said, the above posts have failed to mention the fact that his outburst started brewing before the block-charge call. 1 or 2 possessions before I believe farrakhan was called for a travel right in front of Bennet that got him steamed and ultimately led to the outburst.

Posted by: asnis715 | March 7, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Pete, be more specific. Are you saying you think an ACC regular season championship is irrelevant? Not a huge achievement? 16 games spread over more than two months in front of home and hostile in-conference crowds?

You can keep your distorted and afflicted life-as-zero-sum-game Yankee worldview.

I'll give you a clue Pete. Life is not a zero-sum game. Belief that it is is lazy thinking and unexamined living.

And when you base your life on the belief that it is you miss 99% of life and reality. That includes college basketball.

Posted by: jake177 | March 7, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

But a road win in the ACC is a good win, especially when it clinches a share of the ACC regular season championship.

Posted by: petecard | March 7, 2010 10:02 AM

jake177, I have several posts over the last week about the significance of winning the ACC regular season championship and it being more valued than the ACC Tournament. But, cmon man, we need to do something in the NCAA Tournament. Not making the regionals this year will be a very bitter pill. I took your comment and applied a baseball analogy, butt let's try football. Winning your division in the NFL is nice, but the season id defined by the play-offs. It's not a zero sum game. In the long run people's careers in the NFL are defined by Superbowls In my view, it's the tournament in college basketball.

Guess you really are hoping your Nats and Orioles will have a nice regular season this year...

Posted by: petecard | March 7, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

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