Maryland vs. Virginia Tech: Hokies win key ACC road game, 74-57

Victor Davila slams home a dunk during second-half action of Virginia Tech's victory at Maryland. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)
Victor Davila slams home a dunk during second-half action of Virginia Tech's victory at Maryland. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)
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Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 21, 2011; 1:02 AM

Seeking desperately to compile a record worthy of NCAA tournament consideration, Maryland stumbled badly Thursday against an ACC rival with similar aspirations and more fight.

Outshot, outrebounded and out-hustled by an injury-depleted Virginia Tech team, the Terrapins fell, 74-57, despite a raucous crowd of 17,950 that did its best to give Maryland a decisive home-court advantage.

Instead, fans vented their frustration at their own during a particularly hapless stretch in the second half, booing the Terps after back-to-back turnovers led to yet another Hokies scoring spurt.

Maryland (11-7, 1-3) never led and, held to a season low in points, suffered its largest margin of defeat since Comcast Center opened in 2002.

The loss raises grave questions about Maryland's prospects for an NCAA bid, dropping the team to the bottom half of the ACC standings in what is widely regarded as a down year for the conference.

Coach Gary Williams took an unusually long time talking to his players in the locker room afterward.

"You wonder where that comes from," he said of his team's flat performance. "Hopefully that's a one-game thing, because the games we lost before weren't like that."

Maryland was outrebounded, 37-30, and allowed Tech to shoot 53.6 percent from the field - a season high for a Maryland opponent.

Jordan Williams succeeded in his bid to equal Len Elmore's school record of 12 consecutive double-doubles despite being held to just two first-half points. Williams reached the mark courtesy of an elbow to the head from Tech's Jeff Allen with 3 minutes 15 seconds remaining. Allen was called for an intentional foul, sending Williams to the free throw line, where he scored the 10th point he needed. He finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

It was a critical game for both teams. Virginia Tech (12-5, 3-2) entered the contest tied for fifth in the ACC; Maryland, eighth.

Tech had every reason to feel confident trotting onto the court, having won seven of its last eight games. Maryland, by contrast, was coming off a sapping three-game road stretch during which it led top 10 teams Duke and Villanova but lost to both down the stretch.

The game was emotionally charged from the start. Some fans, no doubt, remembered the obscene gesture that Allen, then a sophomore, had made toward the stands when Virginia Tech last visited Comcast, in February 2009. Others knew simply that Tech's senior guard Malcolm Delaney, a Baltimore native, on Wednesday characterized Maryland as having "maybe the worst fans ever."

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