Maryland 76, Georgia Tech 74

Maryland trailed Georgia Tech by one point with 1.5 seconds left

when coach Gary Williams called for a play that is a staple of

every practice.

The ball ended up in the hands of Cliff Tucker. Problem is, the

backup guard had never before taken that shot.

Tucker buried a 3-pointer as time expired, and Maryland pulled

out a 76-74 victory Saturday to remain unbeaten at home in the

Atlantic Coast Conference.

After Derrick Favors gave Georgia Tech the lead with a follow-up

basket with 3 seconds left, Maryland got the ball to midcourt

before calling a timeout. The Terrapins got the ball to Tucker,

whose shot from the left corner found the bottom of the net,

setting off a celebration at the sold out Comcast Center.

“Coach just drew the play and we went out there and ran it,”

Tucker said.

Asked if he ever took that shot in practice, Tucker replied,

“I’ve never been that guy. In fact, I’m usually on the (backup)

team going against the starters.”

Williams said, “You need some breaks at times during the year.

We got one there. We played well enough to be in a position to get

that break.”

The wild finish overshadowed a milestone performance by Maryland

senior Greivis Vasquez, who scored 18 to become the sixth player in

school history to reach the 2,000-point mark.

“Praise Cliff. He made that big shot for us,” Vasquez said.

“This is nothing about me. My team did a great job staying tough,

being positive.”

Vasquez is the first ACC player to have at least 2,000 points,

700 assists and 600 rebounds. He now has 2,013 points to trail only

Juan Dixon, Len Bias, Albert King, Adrian Branch and John Lucas on

Maryland’s career list.

Eric Hayes scored 15 for Maryland and Jordan Williams had nine

points and 12 rebounds. The victory gave the Terrapins (19-7, 9-3)

sole possession of second place in the ACC.

Favors had 21 points and 18 rebounds, both season highs, and

Iman Shumpert scored 17 for the Yellow Jackets (18-9, 6-7). Georgia

Tech is 1-6 on the road in the ACC and has lost nine straight to

Maryland since February 2004.

Tucker’s shot ruined an otherwise outstanding performance by the

Yellow Jackets.

“I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it,” Favors said.

“We probably played our best game of the season,” coach Paul

Hewitt said. “What are you going to say? The kid made a miraculous


After watching his team struggle on the road for much of the

season, Hewitt was encouraged by Tech’s performance in defeat.

“We did everything you’re supposed to do against a team that’s

better than anybody in our league with the exception of Duke,” he

said. “I think we’re on the verge of something big.”

Maryland improved to 12-1 at home, including 6-0 in the


Hayes hit a 3-pointer with 1:19 left to give Maryland a 71-68

lead. After Favors made a layup, Dino Gregory botched a layup for

the Terrapins. Favors pulled down his 17th rebound for the Yellow

Jackets, who took a timeout to set up a play.

D’Andre Bell scored on a drive with 24.5 seconds remaining and

Vasquez followed with a shot in the lane before Favors scored,

setting up Tucker’s game-winner.

After trailing 41-35 early in the second half, Georgia Tech took

its first lead since 22-20 when Shumpert sank two free throws with

6:12 remaining to make it 62-60. After a miss by Maryland’s Landon

Milbourne, Shumpert missed on the other end.

But teammate Glen Rice Jr. got the rebound, causing Gary

Williams to peel off his suit jacket and throw it on the floor in

disgust. D’Andre Bell then drilled a 3-pointer for a 65-60


Maryland got three points apiece from Jordan Williams and Tucker

to even the score.

Favors had 11 points and eight rebounds in the first half, but

Maryland used a late run to go up 34-32 at the break.

Vasquez scored on Maryland’s first possession, then reached the

2,000-point mark with a 3-pointer with 14:55 left in the half. He

added two free throws to make it 9-4, but Shumpert scored twice

from beyond the arc during a 7-0 run that put Georgia Tech in