COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) -- For 20 minutes, Maryland found itself
in a duel with a Virginia Tech team looking for its first win in
the Atlantic Coast Conference.
In the second half, the Terrapins revved up their fast break and
started getting the ball to versatile forward Nik Caner-Medley. The
result was an uplifting victory that kept No. 22 Maryland unbeaten
Caner-Medley scored a season-high 23 points, Chris McCray had
21, and the Terrapins handed the Hokies their fourth straight loss,
81-72 Saturday night.
Maryland led 45-44 early in the second half when Caner-Medley
hit a tough inside jumper and James Gist added a follow dunk to
spark an 8-2 spurt that gave the Terrapins a seven-point lead with
After Zabian Dowdell hit a 3-pointer for Virginia Tech,
Caner-Medley made a layup and a jumper from the corner to give
Maryland an eight-point cushion. Minutes later, a three-point play
by Caner-Medley made it 64-51, and the Terrapins coasted to the
"We did a great job of getting everybody involved in the second
half," Caner-Medley said. "I was just trying to get the ball to
the basket, and my teammates did a great job of finding me."
Gist (11 points) and Ekene Ibekwe (10) also reached double
figures for the Terrapins (13-4, 3-2), who have won 14 straight at
home -- including 11 this season.
"I love this team. Once we turn on the second gear we're off to
the races," McCray said. "We can play with anybody in the
country. It's up to us to go out on the court and just do it."
Dowdell scored 21 -- becoming the 35th player in Virginia Tech
history to top the 1,000-point mark for his career -- and Coleman
Collins added 18. But it wasn't enough to prevent the Hokies from
losing for the eighth time in nine games in the lopsided series
that stands 25-5 in favor of the Terrapins.
Caner-Medley was the difference.
"He's a very versatile player. He can post you up, he's very
strong, and he can shoot the ball," Dowdell said. "He's very hard
Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg added, "We really had a
tough time matching up against Nik Caner-Medley. He played with
great intensity and he was tougher than us, especially in the
Virginia Tech (10-8, 0-5) remains the lone winless team in the
ACC. The Hokies dropped their first four conference games by a
total of 16 points.
In this one, they managed to get to 70-64, but two free throws
by Caner-Medley with 1:18 left silenced the comeback.
"It definitely tests your character," Dowdell said. "A lot of
guys would just throw in the towel, but this team is resilient.
We're going to go to practice every day and work hard, and I know
good things will happen for this team."
It was the 142nd ACC victory for Maryland coach Gary Williams,
tying him with Frank McGuire for third place on the career list.
North Carolina's Dean Smith had 364 and Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski
is at 255.
Williams also earned his 347th win at Maryland, one short of the
school record held by Lefty Driesell.
Virginia Tech led 38-37 after a first half that featured 11 lead
changes and five ties.
Collins scored Tech's first 12 points, and Maryland missed nine
of its first 12 shots in falling behind 12-7. It was 14-11 before a
follow-dunk by Ibekwe, a jumper by McCray and another dunk by
Ibekwe keyed an 8-0 run that put the Terrapins up 19-14.
After the Hokies got even at 24, neither team led by more than
two points the remainder of the half.
The second half, though, was a different story.
"A lot of times in a close game, it's only four or five minutes
that are different," Williams said. "You have to pick your
stretch and run it as long as you can. We got it out to 13 and it
was enough to win the game."