TAMPA, JAN. 19 -- Okay, the suit can be dry-cleaned.
Maryland Coach Gary Williams said he didn't mind that his players threw Gatorade on him tonight.
After all, his Terrapins looked like they were going to be taken to the cleaners by the University of South Florida, which had a 17-point lead at halftime.
But behind the play of seniors Cedric Lewis and Matt Roe and using a full-court press, Maryland came back to win, 87-81, before 8,395 at the Sun Dome.
The Terrapins (9-7) snapped their three-game losing streak and ended the Bulls' 15-game home winning streak.
And Maryland did it without their leading scorer, guard Walt Williams, who missed his second game with a fractured fibula.
"It was probably one of the biggest comebacks any of my teams have ever had," Gary Williams said. "I really didn't know what to say to them at halftime. And I usually have plenty to say at halftime."
The Terrapins missed their first five shots and it didn't get much better in the first 20 minutes.
The last play before intermission demonstrated exactly how frustrating the first half had been for Maryland.
With two seconds left, South Florida's Scott Roczey fired a desperation shot from the baseline, and 6-foot-7 Radenko Dobras leaped over Lewis and tipped the ball in at the buzzer.
"We knew we could still win even though we were so far down," said Lewis, who scored 16 points and blocked 12 shots, tying the school record set by his brother, Derrick, in 1987 against James Madison.
Lewis got plenty of help from Roe (23 points), who had a three-pointer with 34 seconds left.
"I knew at halftime we could lose by 30 if we didn't pick up the intensity," Williams said. "Now that I know the guys can press full court for 20 minutes, we might do it more often."
Roe knotted the game at 73 when he connected on two foul shots with five minutes left. Twenty-nine seconds later he provided the Terps with their first lead by making two free throws. Roe made seven of eight foul shots and seven of 14 field goals tries.
Lewis made one of two free throws to cap a 9-0 Maryland surge, which provided a 76-73 lead.
How bad was it for the USF faithful? The Bulls' mascot was ejected after he ripped off the head of a referee doll in front of an official during a timeout.
Dobras of Yugoslavia scored two of his game-high 31 points on a rebound to pull South Florida to 76-75. Maryland countered with a driving layup down the lane by Matthew Downing.
Once again, the Bulls (11-3) came within a point when Fred Lewis scored inside. But that was as close as they would come. Downing and Vince Broadnax each made one of two foul shots and Roe made a pair of free throws with 1:30 left.
It is the first time Maryland has won a game before a hostile crowd. The Terrapins entered 0-4 on the road and 2-1 on neutral courts. In those four road losses, they were outscored 340-290.
Bulls Coach Bobby Paschal had a simple reason for his team's downfall: "For some reason, which I don't know why, we started playing very selfishly. We became more concerned about what was best for the individual and not what was best for the team. It destroyed the enthusiasm we had built in the first half."