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COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Rout of Hokies lifts Terps’ confidence
BLACKSBURG—Maryland wing Jake Layman charged from the right side of the lane and threw down a monster dunk over Virginia Tech’s Trevor Thompson midway through the second half of their game Saturday at Cassell Coliseum.
Layman ran back down the court with a big smile on his face and then he wagged his tongue at his teammates.
It was one of the Terrapins’ best plays in their 80–60 win over the struggling Hokies. Then again, there were a lot of big moments for the visiting team.
“I just saw our bench, and it just got me excited,” Layman said. “It was a great feeling.”
Maryland looked as complete as it has all season in winning its first road game since Dec. 12 at Boston College. The Terps (13–9,
5–4 ACC) shot 51.8 percent, their third straight game over 48 percent, and held the Hokies’ offense in check for the entire second half.
“I just like our team to look like they like to play together, that they like to play the game and look like they’re coached,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. “That’s important to me, and I think we’re starting to play that way.”
Sophomore point guard Seth Allen, a Fredericksburg Christian Academy graduate, led the Terps with 16 points, seven assists and five rebounds.
“We needed a game like this,” Allen said. “It helped us guard. They made us play as a team. We were just working together.”
Junior wing Dez Wells, who came off the bench after showing up late for team breakfast, had a team-high 19 points.
While it appears Maryland is heating up midway through the ACC regular season, Virginia Tech’s struggles seem to be getting worse.
With new athletic director Whit Babcock sitting courtside, the Hokies (8–13, 1–8) failed to score more than 60 points for the seventh time in 10 games, and they stretched their losing streak to eight games.
They are 0–5 at home since the start of the new year and have lost three straight games by 20 or more points.
“It’s very deflating because you don’t ever want to lose by 20 or more,” Tech freshman point guard Devin Wilson said. “You don’t want to lose a game at all.”
Tech freshman guard Ben Emelogu, who has been limited recently because of an ankle injury, scored 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting. He was the only Hokies player in double digits.
“I was just relaxed out there. Coach [James Johnson] told me to play with confidence and relax,” Emelogu said. “I went out there and did that, and the game came to me.”
Senior wing Jarell Eddie, who had 23 points in Tech’s road loss to Boston College on Wednesday, was held without a field goal and netted only two points against the Terps.
The score was close for much of the first half before the Terps got back-to-back 3-pointers from Allen and Layman right before the break.
Maryland continued that run in the second half, outscoring the Hokies 19–6 in the first eight minutes to stretch its lead to 62–41. Tech never got close than 14 the rest of the way.
“It’s frustrating because we started well, and we need to keep that going,” Hokies forward Joey van Zegeren said. “We’ll be sure to work off of that and make sure we come in in the next game with energy and fight and heart.”