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February 7, 2013

Terps Take Down Tech

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Virginia Tech dropped a tough one Thursday night to Maryland, losing 60-55 in a back-and-forth battle in Cassell Coliseum.

The loss dropped the Hokies to 11-11 on the season and 2-7 in the ACC.

After struggling his way to 16 points at North Carolina over the weekend, senior guard Erick Green rebounded and led all scorers once again with 29 points on 10-23 shooting.

However, without any help from sophomore guard [db]Robert Brown[/db] and junior forward [db]Jarrell Eddie[/db], things ended much like many of the team's conference games this season. Brown and Eddie combined to shoot 2-17 from the field for four points, the exact same stat line they put forth during the first meeting.

"I feel like it's Shawshank Redemption," coach [db]James Johnson[/db] said. "I love that movie and every time it's on I watch it and I see the same thing."

"We're not doing the things we really need to do to win a game," Green said.

A dejected Eddie said afterward, "I feel like I had good looks; I feel like my teammates found me in good positions. I just didn't make the shots."

At the first media timeout, things looked eerily similar to the first matchup this season between the two teams, a matchup the Hokies lost 94-71. Maryland freshman Jake Layman, who scored a career-high 20 in the first matchup, scored eight of the first ten and the Terrapins led 10-6. He finished with a team-high 14 on 5-11 shooting, despite not scoring in the final 18:32.

From there, the Hokies struggled offensively until the latter portion of the second half. The Hokies scored just two points from the 17:02-11:01 mark in the first half, a layup by junior forward Cadarian Raines.

Going against future NBA lottery pick Alex Len, Raines battled his way to 12 points and five boards on 6-12 shooting. Len was fairly quiet as he scored 10 points and grabbed five boards on 4-6 shooting.

"I think when I play against bigger guys, I think I'm quicker than them," Raines said.

Shortly after that first half sequence however, the roles completely switched for the rest of the opening frame.

Maryland guard Seth Allen hit a three pointer with exactly 10:00 left in the half to give the Terps a 21-10 lead, but they would add only one more field goal the rest of the half. Meanwhile, the Hokies went on a 17-3 run to take a 27-24 lead at halftime, buoyed by 12 from Green during the run.

Things reversed again immediately in the second half, as Maryland went on a 14-3 run in the first six and a half minutes to take a 38-30 lead before the Hokies settled down.

Green led the Hokies on a 7-0 run during the middle of the second half to pull Tech within two at 46-44. From there, it was a back-and-forth affair with both teams making plays on the offensive and defensive ends.

With just under a minute and a half to go, Green pulled up in transition from the elbow again to pull the Hokies within one at 54-53. Two Len free throws made it 56-53 Terps with 52.3 remaining as coach James Johnson called a timeout.

Sophomore guard Robert Brown missed a contested runner in the lane and the Terps iced the game at the free throw line on the other end.

"It (the play) wasn't for Brown, they did a good job on Green," Johnson said. "At times, especially late in the game, someone else is going to have to step up."

"We just got to try and get back on track this weekend," Eddie said.

The Hokies were without sophomore guard Marquis Rankin, who Johnson said was sent home before the game with flu-like symptoms.

Virginia Tech returns to action on Saturday afternoon against Georgia Tech. Tip-off is set for 1:00 p.m. in Blacksburg.


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