BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) -- Jamon Gordon scored a career-best 23
points and had seven in a 12-1 run over the final 2½ minutes
Saturday as Virginia Tech beat Maryland 86-76 to secure a
first-round bye in next week's Atlantic Coast Conference
The Hokies (15-12, 8-8) led 74-72 after two free throws by James
Gist for Maryland with 2:36 left, but Gordon hit a jumper to start
the run. Virginia Tech was 8-for-11 from the line the rest of the
way, and Gordon capped the spurt with a breakaway dunk.
Maryland (16-11, 7-9), hoping to bolster its case for a 12th
consecutive berth in the NCAA tournament, instead lost its third
straight and fourth in five games.
Carlos Dixon added 20 points in his final regular season home
game, and Coleman Collins had 14 points and 15 rebounds for the
surprising Hokies, who were picked to finish 10th in the 11-team
ACC after joining the league prior to this season.
Gist and Chris McCray led Maryland with 18 points apiece. Nik
Caner-Medley added 12 and Virginia Beach native John Gilchrist had
11 points, seven assists and six rebounds for the Terrapins despite
being lustily booed most every time he touched the ball.
The Hokies led 45-37 at halftime and almost throughout the
Maryland did pull even at 57 on Caner-Medley's jumper with 10
minutes to play, but the Hokies immediately regained control as
Gordon scored twice and Dixon and Deron Washington each added
putbacks in an 8-0 run.
Washington added 12 points and eight rebounds for Virginia Tech,
and Zabian Dowdell had 13 points, four assists and three steals.
Hokies starters scored 82 points.
Virginia Tech also outrebounded the Terrapins 45-33.
Maryland got within two three times in the final 4:17, but each
time the Hokies answered. First, Collins scored inside. Then
Washington hit a pair of free throws with 2:59 to go, and Gordon
hit the jumper that sparked the run that decided it.