- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 16, 2010

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — The best defense in the Atlantic Coast Conference was no match for an angry Greivis Vasquez and a team eager for redemption.

Vasquez scored 25 of his 30 points in the first half, and Maryland beat Virginia 85-66 Monday night for its sixth straight home victory.

Two days earlier, the Terrapins were embarrassed in a 21-point loss at Duke. Vasquez wasted no time in making sure this game was different.

The senior guard went 10 for 13 from the floor and made all four free throws to put Maryland up 52-34 at halftime. He backed off in the second half, but by that time the outcome had been decided.

“He just came out there and attacked,” teammate Landon Milbourne said. “He was upset about the last game and came out there and showed it tonight.”

Maryland coach Gary Williams said, “What he did tonight was exceptional. I think he really wanted us to get off to a good start. He was really focused.”

Vasquez finished 12 for 19, and the 30 points matched his season high.

“I was just playing. I wanted to play hard and make every shot,” he said.

Led by Vasquez, Maryland (17-7, 7-3) shot an astounding 70 percent (21 for 30) from the floor in the opening 20 minutes.

“What he did the first half … that was as good as I’ve seen in a half against a quality team here at the University of Maryland,” Williams said of Vasquez. “That was outstanding. I say that with two great guards in the building, (former Terps) Walt Williams and Steve Francis.”

The Cavaliers (14-9, 5-5) came in allowing 61 points per game, lowest in the ACC and 31st in the nation. They yielded their most points in any half this season and the most in any game.

“They had something to prove after their tough loss,” Virginia coach Tony Bennett said. “When your defense is lacking against a team like this, it’s a bad combination.”

Jeff Jones and Mike Scott each scored 16 for Virginia. It was the most lopsided defeat of the year for the Cavaliers, who have dropped three straight and five of seven.

“Tonight was by far our worst effort of the season,” forward Will Sherrill said.

The game was originally scheduled for Feb. 10 but was postponed by snow. As a result, both teams were playing for the second time in three days.

Maryland handled the quick turnaround without difficulty. Virginia, on the other hand, showed the strain of its 61-55 defeat at Virginia Tech on Saturday.

“That’s not an excuse for what we put out there,” Bennett said. “We were flat. I can handle a loss, but not like that.”

Jordan Williams had 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Terrapins, who improved to 12-1 at home and moved into a third-place tie with Virginia Tech in the ACC.

Limited to a single field goal by Duke, Milbourne matched that total on Maryland’s first possession. His second basket put the Terrapins up 12-5, and minutes later the senior forward scored off his own steal to make it 18-11.

It was 24-13 before Jones hit a 3-pointer and added a three-point play to cap an 8-0 run. Maryland then scored the game’s next 11 points — including six by Eric Hayes and four by Vasquez — to build a 14-point cushion.

Against Duke, the Terrapins scored only 25 points in the first half and finished with 56. Maryland got its 56th point against Virginia with 18:33 left.

Vasquez reached the 30-point mark by burying a 3-pointer with 8:08 left to make it 75-48. After the ball went through the net, Vasquez posed for the student section and then slapped hands with Francis, who was sitting courtside.

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