The authority for sports coverage in the Fredericksburg region.
Terrapins get coach’s message
BY NATHAN WARTERS / THE FREE LANCE–STAR
BLACKSBURG—Maryland’s players hung their heads as they headed to their locker room at halftime Thursday night at Cassell Coliseum.
The Terps trailed host Virginia Tech at the break after leading by as many as 11 points in the first half.
Maryland coach Mark Turgeon didn’t want his players feeling sorry for themselves. He needed them to toughen up. He needed them to grow up. So he gave them a stern halftime message.
“I said I need men, not pouters. I want men,” Turgeon said. “I said guys that pout and feel sorry for themselves are going to watch the NCAA tournament. Teams that have men are going to be in it. At some point we’ve got to grow up and be men, and they responded.”
The Terps opened the second half on a 9–0 run and led the rest of the way in a gritty 60–55 victory.
“Did we totally grow up tonight? I don’t know, but it was a step in the right direction,” Turgeon said.
Maryland’s defense led the way in its first ACC road win of the season. The Terps held the Hokies to 33.8 percent shooting, 11.1 percent from 3-point range, and won the rebound battle 46–38.
“I saw a lot of people grow up in this game,” said Maryland senior forward James Padgett, who had eight points and 11 rebounds. “We made some mistakes but we kept our heads high and got some stops and did what we had to win.”
Virginia Tech senior guard Erick Green had a game-high 29 points, but Turgeon said he thought his defense did a good a good job against the nation’s leading scorer.
“I thought our defense was terrific,” Turgeon said. “We did a nice job on [Green].”
Green made 10 field goals on a season-high 23 attempts and went 2 for 7 from 3-point range.
“He’s going to get his points, regardless of how you try to stop him—double team, setting a lot of screens—he’s going to get his points, but we made him get his points on a lot of shots and I think that helped us,” Padgett said.
Maryland (17–6, 5–5) shut down everybody not named Green or Cadarian Raines (14 points, five rebounds, five blocked shots). Junior forward Jarell Eddie and sophomore guard Robert Brown combined to score four points on 2-of-17 shooting.
Terps freshman Jake Layman scored a team-high 14 points. Two of his five career double-figure scoring games have come against the Hokies this season. He had a career-high 20 points in their first meeting Jan. 5.
“I think I’m just growing as a player,” Layman said. “I feel like every game I’m getting better and better at it, and I feel more comfortable.”
Maryland takes its first two-game ACC win streak into a home contest against Virginia on Sunday.
Virginia Tech (11–11, 2–7), meanwhile, will look to break its five-game losing streak at home today against Georgia Tech. The Hokies beat the Yellow Jackets in Atlanta back on Jan. 12.Virginia Tech is tied with Georgia Tech and Boston College for last place in the ACC standings.“I don’t know what it is with us. Every time we come out of halftime and we’re up, we let them punch us in the mouth and we never respond,” Green said. “That’s something we’ve got to get right with our team.“We’ll fix it. We still have nine games left. We’re not a bad team. We’re right there in every game. We just have to fix the little things and get it going.”
Nathan Warters: 540/374-5442