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Virginia's shot at NCAA tourney narrows

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) -- Chris McCray scored 15 of his career-high 20 points in the second half to bring Maryland back
from a double-digit deficit, and the Terrapins enhanced their odds
of returning to the NCAA tournament by beating Virginia 70-61
Sunday night.

The victory enabled Maryland to finish in sixth place in the
Atlantic Coast Conference. The Terrapins (16-11, 7-9) are seeking
to extend their school-record run of NCAA tournament appearances to
11.

Elton Brown scored 16 points and Devin Smith had 15 for the
Cavaliers (16-11, 6-10), who had won three straight. Todd Billet,
whose clutch shooting was instrumental in those three victories,
went 1-for-14 from the field -- including 0-for-10 from 3-point
range.

After the Cavaliers pulled even at 57, Maryland used a 7-0 run
to take control. Jamar Smith made one of two free throws, John
Gilchrist added a pair at the line and D.J. Strawberry sank a
twisting layup before McCray capped the run with two foul shots
with 2:16 remaining.

Virginia closed to 64-61 before Smith made a free throw, then
missed the second attempt but grabbed the rebound. McCray capped
the possession by making two at the line to seal the victory.

Smith, the lone senior on Maryland's roster, had 10 points and
12 rebounds in what was likely his final home game.

Immediately after the final buzzer, Terrapins coach Gary
Williams did a dance in front of the bench as the sellout crowd
roared its approval.

Up 34-27 at halftime, the Cavaliers quickly expanded the margin
to 11 points on successive baskets by J.R. Reynolds in the opening
40 seconds of the second half.

Maryland called a timeout, then went on an 8-0 run during which
Virginia committed four turnovers and missed three shots.

It was 40-38 before Jason Clark scored on a putback to end the
Cavaliers' seven-minute run without a basket.

McCray then scored eight points in a 14-2 run that gave Maryland
a 52-44 lead with 7:30 left, but Virginia got six points from Smith
in a 13-5 surge that tied it with 4:29 to go.

That set the stage for another dramatic finish for the
Cavaliers, whose previous three games were decided by a total of
seven points.

The first half featured horrid shooting by both teams. With six
minutes left, Virginia trailed 18-15 despite shooting just 19
percent (5-for-27) from the field.

The difference over the first 20 minutes was at the foul line,
where the Cavaliers went 9-for-9 compared to a 4-for-9 performance
by Maryland.