- The Washington Times - Friday, February 7, 2003

Maryland was blindsided by a flurry of 3-pointers last night.
Virginia made five treys in the final minutes to shock No.8 Maryland 86-78 before 17,950 at Comcast Center. The striking turnaround came after Maryland led 69-59 with 9:07 remaining after an early 13-2 second-half run.
Virginia (13-7, 4-4) won its first ACC road contest this season and ended a nine-game losing streak at Maryland. Visiting teams are only 8-27 this season in the ACC, but Virginia's outside composure coupled with Maryland's late offensive collapse sparked the upset. Guard Devin Smith led Virginia with 17 points, and guard Drew Nicholas topped Maryland with 20.
Maryland (14-5, 6-2) saw its five-game winning streak end while reaching the midpoint of the ACC schedule. The Terrapins now play three of their next four games on the road, including a trip to Georgia Tech on Sunday.
"It's hard to come back when you fall behind like that," Maryland coach Gary Williams said. "You've got to learn you have to play good defense."
The Terps relied heavily upon their frontcourt in the second half despite solid first-half play from their guards when Nicholas' 13 first-half points kept Maryland close. Randle was only 3-for-9 in the first half but hit four of his first five shots in the opening five minutes of the second half for a nine-point buffer. Forward Tahj Holden also added six points during the breakaway as Virginia suddenly couldn't handle Maryland underneath.
However, Virginia suddenly hit three straight 3-pointers as part of a 16-0 run for a 75-69 lead with 3:55 remaining. Maryland was stunned by the turnaround while fumbling offensively during a six-minute drought. The Terps went more than nine minutes without a field goal.
Virginia led 47-45 at halftime on guard Derrick Byars' layup at the buzzer to cap a frantic opening half. Both teams traded long streaks highlighted by sharp shooting.
Virginia used an early 7-0 run for a 10-6 edge that wasn't relinquished for nearly 13 minutes. Maryland closed to 17-16 before Virginia rebounded with 11 unanswered points for a 28-16 lead with 10:13 remaining on a four-point play. Virginia converted 11 of its first 15 shots against the nation's No. 2-ranked field goal defense while Maryland was only five of 14.
But the Terps went on their finest first-half streak, 17-7, for a 37-35 lead with 4:10 left on Nicholas' 3-pointer that gave him 1,000 career points. Maryland thrived underneath while Virginia forward Travis Watson was on the bench with two fouls. Maryland reserve forwards Nik Caner-Medley and Travis Garrison provided a stronger presence underneath while combining for five points.
Virginia countered with eight straight points after consecutive 3-pointers by Watson and guard Todd Billet respectively for a 43-37 lead with 2:35 left. Caner-Medley then sparked an 8-2 run with two baskets while guard Chris McCray's 5-footer made it 45-45 with 9.5 seconds left before Byars beat Maryland's press to give Virginia the intermission edge.
Maryland opened the second half by attacking Virginia underneath. Randle gave Maryland a 49-47 lead with two underneath baskets. Forward Tahj Holden then converted Randle's miss for the Terps' biggest lead at four as the Comcast crowd erupted into one of its bigger roars of the season. Randle capped the 8-0 run with a 5-footer before Virginia finally scored nearly four minutes into the half.
Maryland's inside game clearly disheartened Virginia as the Terps steadily pulled away to a 10-point lead on guard Steve Blake's 3-pointer with 13:16 that was Blake's 1,000th career point.
But Virginia rallied on four 3-pointers by Smith while guard Jermaine Harper's trey gave the Cavaliers a 70-69 lead with 6:20 remaining. Caner-Medley's two free throws ended a 6:05 silence by Maryland to close to 75-71 with 3:02 remaining.

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