COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Maryland coach Mark Turgeon knew his team was close and on the brink of doing something special after playing in close games all season.
After loses earlier in the year to three ranked teams — Pittsburgh, Duke and Syracuse — by a combined eight points, Saturday afternoon’s matchup with No. 5-ranked Virginia had all of the fixings to satisfy a sold out crowd at Comcast Center.
It did just that.
Playing in its last home game as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, Maryland upset the Cavaliers 75-69 in overtime to close out ACC regular-season play.
Maryland, which has been a charter member of the ACC since 1953, will join the Big Ten for the 2014-15 school year.
“Today just wasn’t an ordinary game,” Turgeon said. “You can tell by all of the cameras in here. Playing our last ACC regular-season game, Senior Day and playing a top-5 team in the country.”
“I’m really proud of my group.”
After Virginia forward Anthony Gill tied the game with 0.5 seconds left in regulation, Maryland outscored the Cavaliers 11-5 in the extra session to come away with the win.
Maryland guard Seth Allen scored 20 points to lead all scorers while guard Dez Wells put in 18 to lead four Maryland players in double figures.
“They are very talented,” Virginia coach Tony Bennett said of Maryland. “They did a good job of spacing and really attacking, and when they can get to the rim like that it changes things.”
The Terrapins scored 32 of their 75 points in the paint including a handful by Allen in the overtime session that stifled the Cavaliers’ defense.
“If you look at points in the paint, 32 is a big number for us,” Bennett said. “We pride ourselves on being a team that tries to take away the lane first and they have guys who are very good off the bounce.”
Virginia was led by Gill’s 15 points. Guard London Perrantes scored 14 points while guards Malcolm Brogdon and Joe Harris added 12 apiece.
Maryland (17-14, 9-9 ACC) led for the majority of the second half and grew its lead to as big as eight with 16:37 to play at 45-37. Virginia went on a 15-6 run to retake the lead 52-51 after Harris knocked down a 3-pointer with 8:25 remaining.
The Terrapins shot 47.9 percent for the game while Virginia struggled from the field shooting just 38.6 percent which included a dismal 30.4 percent (7 of 23) in the second half. The Cavaliers made just one 3-pointer in the second half and overtime after knocking down five in the first half.
Virginia (25-6, 16-2) took a 35-34 lead at the half thanks to a 3-pointer from Perrantes with 14 seconds to play. Perrantes led the Cavaliers in scoring with 12 first-half points, all coming from beyond the arc.
“At the start Virginia was fresh and we were trying to guard them but we couldn’t,” Turgeon said. “I thought our defense was outstanding the rest of the way. The big difference in our team is we are really guarding.”
Perrantes would not score in the second half after his strong performance in the first 20 minutes.
The Cavaliers shot 50 percent from the field in the half and made five of their 11 3-pointers.
Maryland was led by forward Evan Smotrycz’s 13 points in the half as the Terrapins shot 52 percent from the field.
After Maryland took an early 3-2 lead, Virginia answered with a 14-7 run to take a 16-10 advantage with 12 minutes to play in the half. The Terrapins battled back and used a 10-2 run of their own to lead 20-18 with 9:46 left before the teams went back-and-forth the rest of the way.
NOTES: Virginia G Justin Anderson, who was originally committed to Maryland, averaged 12.5 points per game last season in two games against the Terrapins. … Former Maryland coaches Gary Williams and Lefty Driesell were in attendance for the game. … The loss ends Virginia’s 13-game winning streak. … The Cavaliers will enter next week’s ACC Tournament as the No. 1 seed while Maryland will either be the eight or
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