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ACC Men’s Basketball: Behind Allen, Terrapins the latest to pile on sliding Hokies





COLLEGE PARK, Md.—Virginia Tech spent all week in practice trying to find ways to combat its recent defensive struggles.

After another blowout Saturday at Maryland, it’s clear the Hokies still have a long way to go.

In the ACC opener for both teams, the Terrapins shot 51.7 percent and had four players score in double figures in a 94–71 win over Tech in front of a sellout crowd of 17,950 at Comcast Center.

The Hokies, who have given up 279 points in their last three games, suffered their worst ACC loss since falling to Duke, 69–44, during the 2008–09 season.

“Honestly, I thought we competed. We really did. I understand the score, and you all are thinking something different, but we had the energy,” said Tech senior guard Erick Green, who led all scorers with 28 points.

Maryland freshman guard Seth Allen, a former Fredericksburg Christian School standout, scored a career-high 21 points on 8 of 12 shooting, and fellow Terps freshman Jake Layman finished with 20 points and eight rebounds, both career highs.

The Terrapins (13–1, 1–0 ACC) extended their win streak to 13 games, matching the second-longest string in school history.

“It’s ACC time. We all have to step up for it, and I think I was ready for it,” said Layman, who made only his second career start in place of the injured Nick Faust. “It was a great game for us.”

The Hokies (9–5, 0–1), meanwhile, have lost three straight and have allowed 90 or more points in consecutive games for the first time since the 1990–91 season.

They have lost three consecutive games by 23 or more points for the first time in school history.

“I thought our defense was better, but they knocked down a lot of shots,” Hokies coach James Johnson said.

Maryland went 10 for 23 from 3-point range. Layman was 4 for 5 from behind the arc in the first half to help the Terrapins take a 16-point halftime lead. Allen took over in the second half, scoring 14 points in the final 20 minutes.

“I was really anxious for this game, my first ACC game. I just tried to do the best I could do when I got in there,” Allen said.

The shorthanded Hokies played with only six scholarship players. Johnson had the option of playing a seventh, but he decided to sit sophomore starting forward C.J. Barksdale for the entire game.

Johnson said other players, like redshirt freshman Joey van Zegeren and sophomore walk-on Christian Beyer, are playing and practicing with better effort than Barksdale.

Barksdale was eligible to play, “but he’s just not been getting it done,” Johnson said.

Van Zegeren filled in admirably for Barksdale with 10 points and five rebounds. He was assigned to guard Maryland center Alex Len, a pro-jected NBA lottery pick who finished with 16 points and nine rebounds with a slew of NBA scouts in attendance.

Tech showed improvement on the boards and was better defending the post, but it couldn’t account for Maryland’s assortment of outside shooters.

Allen, Layman and senior Logan Aronhalt were a combined 9 for 18 from behind the arc.

The Hokies have lost five of their last seven games after getting off to their best start in 30 years. Their defensive woes are only part of the problem. Tech shot under 40 percent for the third straight game and made only 4 of 19 shots from 3-point range.

Green notwithstanding, the Hokies have struggled in recent games to find reliable scoring options. Sophomore guard Robert Brown scored only 11 points on 4 of 15 shooting, and forward Jarell Eddie was 2 for 12 with five points.

“I’m pleased with the shot selection,” Johnson said. “Those are the same shots we were making early on in the year, and we’ve kind of got to live with it right now.”


    Van Zegeren 3-4 4-5 10, Raines 4-7 0-3 8, Eddie 2-12 1-1 5, Brown 4-15 2-4 11, Green 8-18 10-11 28, Rankin 1-5 0-0 3, Beyer 3-5 0-0 6, Johnston 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 25-67 17-24 71.

    MARYLAND (13–1)

    Mitchell 4-6 0-0 8, Layman 6-12 4-4 20, Len 6-12 4-6 16, Howard 0-5 6-6 6, Wells 3-5 5-6 12, Aronhalt 2-3 1-2 7, Allen 8-12 2-2 21, Faust 0-1 0-0 0, Padgett 0-1 0-2 0, Cleare 2-3 0-0 4. Totals: 31-60 22-28 94.

    Halftime—Maryland 53-37. 3-Point Goals—Virginia Tech 4-19 (Green 2-2, Rankin 1-3, Brown 1-6, Beyer 0-1, Johnston 0-1, Eddie 0-6), Maryland 10-23 (Layman 4-9, Allen 3-6, Aronhalt 2-3, Wells 1-2, Howard 0-3). Fouled Out—Wells. Rebounds—Virginia Tech 38 (Raines 13), Maryland 41 (Len 9). Assists—Virginia Tech 7 (Rankin 3), Maryland 18 (Howard 6). Total Fouls—Virginia Tech 19, Maryland 17. A—17,950.

Nathan Warters: 540/374-5442

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