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Fast start helps Virginia Tech cruise past Maryland
COLLEGE PARK, Md. | Virginia Tech set the tone early in handing Maryland its most lopsided home loss in 12 years.
The Hokies opened the game with a 12-0 run, got a career-high 24 points from Erick Green and coasted to a 74-57 victory Thursday night.
It was Maryland’s worst loss on its own court since an 82-64 defeat against Duke on Jan. 3, 1999.
Especially at the beginning, when the Hokies made their first four shots to take a 10-0 lead. After a Maryland timeout, Green scored on a drive to put Virginia Tech up by 12 and take the crowd right out of the game.
“It was huge,” Green said.
Virginia Tech (12-5, 3-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) has won eight of nine, seven by double figures.
“I thought that was probably the best we played all season,” coach Seth Greenberg said.
Green, a sophomore guard, went 12 for 16 from the field and the Hokies shot 54 percent against the nation’s sixth-ranked defense in field goal percentage.
“Erick Green had just a monster game in terms of just playing with great poise,” Greenberg said. “We talked about playing together and trusting each other, and we did all those things. It was just a really good team win.”
The Terrapins (11-7, 1-3) couldn’t recover from their awful start. Jordan Williams had 11 points and 11 rebounds to tie Len Elmore’s school record of 12 straight double-doubles, but the sophomore forward made only one basket in the decisive first half.
A layup by Green put the Hokies up 53-36 with 14:32 left. After the Terrapins used four straight baskets by Tucker to close to 61-53 with 7:15 to go, a free throw by Victor Davila and a layup by Green began a 9-2 spree that put the game out of reach.
That’s as close as Maryland would get.
It was 40-29 at halftime.
In their only loss since Dec. 5, the Hokies blew a 31-24 halftime lead at North Carolina. They weren’t about to let history repeat itself against Maryland.
“We kept our poise this time,” Green said. “We weren’t arguing, we weren’t rattled. We just kept it going.”
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