Vasquez scores 41 points to lead Maryland to double overtime win over Virginia Tech

By Steve Yanda
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, February 28, 2010

BLACKSBURG, VA. -- Thirteen hours after his team first stepped on the court at Cassell Coliseum on Saturday, Maryland Coach Gary Williams sat at his postgame news conference, his forehead still damp with sweat. He could not categorize Saturday's affair -- a 104-100 double-overtime Terrapins triumph -- as merely another game or another road trip.

"This," Williams said, "is a chapter."

Senior guard Greivis Vasquez scored a career-high 41 points to help ensure that Maryland (21-7, 11-3) will earn no worse than the No. 2 seed in the upcoming ACC tournament. With the loss, Virginia Tech (21-7, 8-6) needs to win its two remaining regular season games and likely have a strong showing in the ACC tournament to nab an NCAA tournament berth.

But any and all exterior implications were lost amid the fervor of the final three periods of play.

Senior guard Eric Hayes drained a long two-point shot with 5.2 seconds left in regulation to put the Terrapins up by two. Williams said Hayes thought it was a three-point shot and, thus, did not defend the ensuing Virginia Tech inbounds play as vigorously as he otherwise would have.

Virginia Tech guard Malcolm Delaney raced the length of the court and scored a game-tying layup with 0.9 of a second on the game clock. Delaney tallied 14 of his team-high 27 points in the second half.

"If there's a better guard out there, I don't know who it is," Williams said of Delaney, the ACC's leading scorer.

Williams's own guard turned in quite a performance himself. Vasquez became the first Maryland player to tally more than 40 points in a game since Joe Smith in 1995 and the ninth ACC player ever to tally more than 40 points in a conference road game. En route, he passed Albert King for third place on Maryland's all-time scoring list.

Vasquez countered Virginia Tech's efforts to expand its lead early in the second half. Maryland trailed by eight just more than three minutes after the break before Vasquez scored eight points in 84 seconds. He later sank a three-pointer with 14 minutes 40 seconds remaining to push the Terrapins back in front, 53-52.

The back-and-forth affair included a surprisingly up-tempo pace, given Virginia Tech's preferred style of play. But Maryland's transition attack proved contagious as the two teams traded momentum throughout the final three periods. The lead changed hands 15 times in Blacksburg, where the Hokies previously were unbeaten this season.

"It was a heck of a game," Virginia Tech Coach Seth Greenberg said. "It was like a prize fight, with punches and counter-punches, teams getting knocked down and getting right back up."

With 45 seconds remaining in double overtime and the Hokies down two, Virginia Tech guard Dorenzo Hudson missed a transition layup. The ball went out of bounds off junior forward Dino Gregory, giving Virginia Tech another chance to tie the score. Delaney drew a foul on the ensuing inbounds play, but the 85 percent free throw shooter missed both shots.

Sophomore guard Sean Mosley then sank two free throws to provide the Terrapins a four-point lead, which came in handy when Virginia Tech forward Jeff Allen scored on a three-point play the old-fashioned way with 29.6 seconds left. Allen finished with 25 points and 15 rebounds.

"Virginia Tech gave it their all; we gave it our all," said Mosley, who registered 17 points. "And, you know, we poured it on down the stretch."

He paused to catch his breath after partaking in the highest-scoring ACC game since Wake Forest and North Carolina played to three overtimes in 2003.

"It's tough to win on the road, but then, you know, we had a little setback with the time of the game," Mosley continued. "But we just stayed focused and came out in the second half playing more hard."

The contest was delayed three hours because of a series of water main breaks on campus. But when Maryland's players took the floor at 9 a.m. Saturday morning for their pregame shootaround, it seemed like any other game day.

"We made a couple of mistakes there, but we didn't quit," Williams said. "And we had to battle back a couple other times. And so, to me, that's a great basketball team. Not how you look or whether it's pretty; it's just a great basketball team that won that game."

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