A voice sliced through the stunned Maryland crowd, imploring the women’s basketball team, “Come on! Get some rebounds!”
It was to no avail.
Eighth-ranked Maryland was looking to rebound after losing just its second game of the season to No. 5 Duke on Saturday. But rebound they did not — literally or figuratively.
Unranked Virginia Tech handed the Terps their second straight ACC loss Thursday night at Comcast Center, 75-69.
“When you don’t have a sense of urgency for 40 minutes to come out and play,” Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. “Every team we play in the ACC is going to come in and play like this.”
Maryland (18-3, 5-3 ACC) ranks third nationally in rebounding margin, averaging 15 more boards than its opponents per game. But the Hokies, who rank last in the ACC in defensive rebounding and second to last in offensive rebounding, kept pace with the Terps.
Virginia Tech (7-14, 3-5) finished just one rebound shy of Maryland’s 36. It turned 19 offensive rebounds into 20 second-chance points.
“Not a lot of things that I can say that we did well — defense, rebounding, turnovers,” Frese said. “Credit for Virginia Tech. I thought they came in with more energy. They were more inspired.”
The Terps turned the ball over 20 times in the game, while Virginia Tech committed just one in the second half. Maryland also allowed the ACC-worst Virginia offense to score 25 points above its 49.4 average.
Maryland’s largest lead came with 15:58 remaining in the second half. But back-to-back 3-pointers from Virginia Tech guard Monet Tellier cut the eight-point lead to two. Maryland would hold on for much of the half, but Virginia Tech lingered close behind, eventually grabbing the lead with 5:26 left on a Tellier layup.
Frese said the Terps “didn’t have an answer” for Tellier, who tied her career-high with 31 points.
“I feel like we showed a tremendous amount of fight,” Tellier said. “We came out a lot stronger and a lot more confident than we did against Miami. Miami we looked scared and today we just played together.”
Other double-figure scorers for the Hokies included guard Aerial Wilson (15) and forward Porchia Hedley (14).
Maryland had its chances over the final five minutes, particularly at the foul line. But six of the Terps’ seven misses from the stripe came in the last 8:40. Lynetta Kizer missed three and Anjale Barret bricked one over a 2-minute, 30-second stretch.
“We didn’t step up and shoot the ball with confidence at the free-throw line like we normally do,” Frese said. “Those were critical misses in terms of the game.”
With Maryland’s leading scorer, Alyssa Thomas, sitting on the bench with a cast on the left thumb she sprained at practice Tuesday, Kizer carried the load with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Lauren Mincy added 19 and Tianna Hawkins had 18.
The Terps’ next chance to right the ship will come in a week — next Thursday against Boston College, which is winless in the ACC.
“As a team, our coaches can’t want it more than we want it for ourselves,” Kizer said, holding back tears from her red eyes. “This was a defining moment tonight. We’ve got to turn around from here and play Maryland basketball.”