Maryland Defeats Last-Place Virginia Tech
COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Three points at a time, Maryland turned a halftime deficit against last-place Virginia Tech into the foundation of a blowout victory.
Jake Layman came off the bench to score 13 points, Dez Wells added 11 and the Terrapins buried the Hokies under a barrage of 3-pointers in a 64-47 rout Tuesday night.
Down 29-28 at halftime, Maryland took the lead for good at the outset of the second half when Wells turned a steal into a three-point play. The Terrapins’ next five baskets came from beyond the arc, fueling an 18-5 run that made it 46-34 with 12:44 to go.
Layman connected twice from long range during the surge, but Wells’ conventional three-pointer proved pivotal.
“Start of the second half, Dez made the play of the game,” Terrapins coach Mark Turgeon said. “Our energy level was different.”
“It was huge. It got us going,” he said. “In the first half, we had no energy.”
If the teams don’t meet in the ACC tournament, Maryland (16-14, 8-9 Atlantic Coast Conference) will head to the Big Ten after this season with a five-game winning streak against the Hokies and a 32-10 lead in the series.
Terrapins starting center Charles Mitchell inexplicably failed to join the team for the start of the second half after being pulled with 4:07 left before halftime. The 6-foot-8 sophomore returned to the bench with around 10 minutes left but did not play.
“It was just discipline. I’m not going to get into the details,” Turgeon said. “It was just something I had to have some discipline involved. I asked him to go to the locker room.”
Jarell Eddie and Joey van Zegeren each scored 14 for the Hokies (9-20, 2-15), who have lost five straight and 15 of 16. Virginia Tech’s only win in 2014 came against Miami on Feb. 15.
“The first four minutes of the second half really hurt us,” coach James Johnson said. “Turning the basketball over and we went four minutes without scoring.”
After Wells began the second-half charge, Nick Faust added a 3-pointer. Eddie made two free throws and Seth Allen popped a 3 before van Zegeren scored on a follow — the Hokies’ lone basket in the first 7½ minutes.
Layman then hit consecutive shots from beyond the arc to put Maryland up by double digits. Layman was omitted from the starting lineup for only the second time this season in the wake a 1-for-14 shooting performance on Sunday in a double-overtime loss to Clemson.
“Starting to me doesn’t really matter,” Layman said. “It wasn’t a big deal.”
Maryland went 10 for 32 from 3-point range against Virginia Tech’s zone and committed only five turnovers.
“We have a lot of good shooters that aren’t making shots,” Turgeon noted. “But for the most part, our zone offense was really good.”
It was another lopsided defeat for the Hokies, but things looked promising in the first half. Virginia Tech took its first lead when Eddie drilled a 3-pointer and Marshall Wood followed a Maryland misfire with two free throws to make it 17-15.
After Mitchell scored for the Terrapins, Eddie and Will Johnston connected from beyond the arc to cap an 11-2 run that put the Hokies in front 23-17.
In the second half, however, Virginia Tech scored only 18 points on 5-for-22 shooting with 10 turnovers.
“They denied the ball a little more,” van Zegeren said. “They put pressure on us and we turned the ball over. We have to take care of the ball better.”
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