The Maryland Terrapins finally got a signature win by beating the fifth ranked Virginia Cavaliers in overtime 75-69, a fitting send off for their final ACC regular season game ever before a sold out court-storming crowd at Comcast Center.
The Terrapins were rescued by guard Seth Allen, who scored the first five points of the overtime period and finished with a game high 20 points. The Terps appeared to have the game won in regulation, but the Cavaliers scored with one second left to play to send the game into overtime tied at 64.
This time, unlike earlier season last second losses to Duke and Syracuse, Maryland took control of the game in overtime and never trailed. Wingman Jake Layman hit four straight free throws, the last with 21 seconds to play in overtime to secure the win. Maryland finished the regular season 17-14 and an even 9-9 record in ACC play.
The Terrapins were able to beat the best team in the ACC and the best scoring defensive team in the nation by shooting nearly 50 percent from the field. The Cavaliers have been holding opponents to 55.4 points per game. Still, Virginia won the regular season ACC title finishing the year 25-6 and 16-2 in league play.
Maryland also got 18 points from their leading scorer Dez Wells while Virginia was paced by Anthony Gill with 15 points including the game tying bucket. Cavalier London Perrantes added 14 points in a losing effort.
In the first half, Virginia opened the game with a nine point lead at 14-5 with 13:51 to play in the first half. The Terps came back to tie the game at 18 all with 10:19 to play before intermission. Virginia took the lead going into halftime 35-34.
The Terps led for most of the second half and appeared to be heading for a win in regulation after Layman (10 points and a team high eight rebounds) hit two free throws giving them a 64-61 lead with four seconds to play in the game.
The Terps then fouled Cavalier Malcolm Brogdon (12 points) to avoid a potential game tying three pointer. He made the first shot and then bricked the second and when the rebound went off a Terrapin it set up the game tying bucket by Gill on a perfectly thrown lob pass under the basket by Perrantes.
The Terrapin players then huddled together getting instructions from coach Mark Turgeon. Whatever he said worked, because they never trailed again and were able to celebrate their best win of the year with the crowd as they stormed the court, a great send off as the Terrapins will begin play in the Big Ten Conference next year.
Notes: The Terrapins season of heartbreak continued as they lost in the first round of the ACC tournament 67-65 to the Florida State Seminoles on a last second dunk and then were not picked to play in the NIT tournament. On a positive note, they did improve as the season progressed and they have a top 10 recruiting class coming in to help a team that lost only one non-starting senior.