ATLANTA, FEB. 1 -- Maryland accomplished many of the things it wanted to tonight against Georgia Tech, among them controlling all-American guard Kenny Anderson and showing heart and aggressiveness.
Unfortunately for the Terrapins these successes came only after a half in which the team shot a chilly 21 percent from the field and scored just 18 points. There weren't enough good things to overcome that start as the No. 24 Yellow Jackets took an 80-65 Atlantic Coast Conference decision.
"I think in the second half we took things for granted," said Anderson, who scored 19 points, more than eight under his average. "We knew we had a lead -- no one really thought they'd beat us with the lead we had."
It was something of an upset that Georgia Tech (13-6, 5-3) even bothered to come out of its locker room after intermission, so haggard was the visitors' performance in the first half. Maryland (12-8, 2-5) took a 2-0 lead on a fast break layup by Matt Roe 11 seconds into the game, then went more than four minutes before it got another point.
In between, Georgia Tech scored 18 straight points and Terrapins Coach Gary Williams spent two timeouts to try and halt the momentum. It didn't work; the Yellow Jackets soon expanded their lead to 27-6.
"We just have to show up ready to play; we've done it before so I know we can but we didn't tonight," said Williams. "Maybe we needed something like this to prove it; we were flat and Georgia Tech caught us. We've missed shots before but we just didn't compete defensively."
Georgia Tech took a 43-18 halftime lead with much of the damage done by Jon Barry, Malcolm Mackey and Bryan Hill.
Barry, son of former NBA great Rick Barry, scored eight of his 14 points in the opening six minutes; Mackey had six of his 11 during the same span.
"The other guys besides Kenny aren't slouches," said Maryland's Vince Broadnax. "Our main concern was not letting Kenny get off but we worried too much about him and let the others get into it too much."
Although Roe scored a game-high 25 points, he was just three of 12 from the field at intermission, and that was one of the Terrapins' better efforts. Center Cedric Lewis was zero for six; point guard Kevin McLinton was zero for two with six turnovers.
"That was the worst half of basketball we've played this year," said McLinton. "Playing against a great player like Kenny Anderson and in a big game we should have been fired up but we gave the game away in the first 10 minutes."
Not quite, because somehow, Maryland managed to make a go of it in the second half. Their effort began by holding the Yellow Jackets without a point for the opening 3:52 and scoring seven straight themselves. Anderson hit a jumper and a three-point basket to make it 48-25 but Lewis, Roe and McLinton began to click.
During one stretch, McLinton scored seven consecutive points. With 6:09 remaining, Georgia Tech's lead had been trimmed to 61-48.
"In the second half, we had to make a couple of shots to get it under 10 but we couldn't do it," said Williams.
Maryland cut its deficit to 13 again with 1:19 remaining, but Georgia Tech Coach Bobby Cremins was so unconcerned that he pulled Anderson from the game at that point.
"The second half was like a seesaw but the first was very frustrating," said Lewis. "It was just frustrating to see shots that you normally take and make not go in. It's hard to win a game scoring 18 points."
Montgomery-Takoma 117, Harford CC 97: Al Welch scored 35 points and Gregory Rex hit six three-point shots and finished with 28 points as the host Falcons (12-7) won their ninth straight. Harford (3-17) was led by Ed Weatherspoon's 28 points.