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February 7, 2010

Terps crush slumping Tar Heels

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Greivis Vasquez had 26 points and 11 assists, and Maryland solidified its hold on second place in the Atlantic Coast Conference with a 92-71 victory over skidding North Carolina on Sunday.

Eric Hayes scored 16 for the Terrapins (16-6, 6-2), who never trailed after taking a 7-6 lead. Maryland has won four of its last five games against North Carolina, including last year's memorable 88-85 overtime thriller.

In that game, Vasquez scored 35 to help the Terrapins rally from 16 points down. In this one, Maryland let a 16-point lead dwindle to 3 before pulling away.

Marcus Ginyard led North Carolina (13-10, 2-6) with 17 points and Deon Thompson had 16. It was the sixth loss in seven games for the Tar Heels, their worst streak since 2002. The defending NCAA champions are 10th in the ACC, a half-game out of last place.

Maryland trails Duke by a half-game and leads Wake Forest by the same margin.
The game was a sellout, but at least 2,000 seats remained empty because most roads in the Washington area were still covered with the remnants of a major snowstorm.

In an effort to fill the arena, the school allowed Maryland students without tickets to enter.

The students did their part, making more than enough noise to help the Terrapins improve to 11-1 at home this season.
Down by 13 early in the second half, North Carolina used a 14-4 run to close to 54-51.

It was 58-54 before Dino Gregory scored on a follow, Hayes drilled a 3-pointer and Vasquez added a layup and a trey for a 14-point cushion with 10:51 left.

That took the fight out of the Tar Heels, who went quietly in their sixth double-digit loss of the season. It was North Carolina's most lopsided loss to Maryland since a 40-point blowout in 2003.

Vasquez had 14 points and six assists in the first half, and the Terrapins made nine 3-pointers in taking a 44-34 lead.

Maryland went up 19-9 behind Vasquez and Hayes, who combined for five assists and 15 points on 5-for-5 shooting from beyond the arc. Minutes later, reserve forward Cliff Tucker hit a 3-pointer and a layup to spark a 10-2 spurt that made it 32-16.

Will Graves then scored from long range to begin a run of 10 straight North Carolina points. It was 34-30 before Maryland's Landon Milbourne sank a 3-pointer and Adrian Bowie added a layup for a nine-point advantage.




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