It may have lacked the all-around brilliance of his triple-double against powerful North Carolina a season ago, but Greivis Vasquez’s performance in Blacksburg may have accomplished even more for himself and his team on Saturday night.
Maryland faced a desperate Virginia Tech team, losers of two in a row and sitting squarely on the NCAA tournament bubble. The Hokies had not lost a game at raucous Cassell Coliseum all season. And still, Vasquez nearly beat them by himself.
Behind a career-high 41 points—three shy of the school’s single-game record and the most by a Terrapin since Joe Smith’s 40 against Duke in 1995—Vasquez led Maryland to a 104-100 victory over Virginia Tech in a double-overtime thriller at Cassell Coliseum.
The performance not only locked up the No. 2 seed in the ACC Tournament for Maryland (21-7, 11-3 ACC) but likely catapulted Vasquez into the driver’s seat for ACC Player of the Year honors.
Amazingly, Vasquez’s night started out slowly as he struggled through 2-of-10 shooting and had only eight at the break as Maryland trailed 37-31. The hostile Virginia Tech crowd jeered him throughout the night, chanting “USA!” and other vicious barbs at the Venezuelan native, but Vasquez fed off the animosity in the second half and got better.
And even better.
Before Sean Mosley hit the final two free throws to seal the four-point victory in the final seconds of the second overtime, Vasquez had scored 33 points after the break, passing Albert King into third place on the Maryland all-time scoring list along the way.
The senior hit five 3-pointers, was a perfect 10-of-10 from the charity stripe, grabbed seven rebounds, and handed out six assists. He scored inside and out, making countless big shots to lead the second-half comeback.
While Vasquez was the star of the evening—besting fellow ACC Player of the Year candidate Malcolm Delaney who scored 27 points in a losing effort—perhaps the most encouraging sign for the Terps was his teammates’ ability to step up in the extra periods to seal the victory.
Feeling the effects of playing all but two minutes in the double-overtime battle, Vasquez missed a potential game-winning shot at the end of the first overtime and scored just five points in the 10 extra minutes. However, fellow senior Eric Hayes drained 5-of-6 free throws in the extra sessions, two of which tied the score late in the first overtime, and finished with 12 points.
Mosley continued his offensive resurrection with 17 points on 6-for-8 shooting. Six of Mosley’s points came in the second overtime to finally push the Terps to victory.
Maryland made its free throws (22-for-27) and got the defensive stops when needed despite strong efforts from Delaney, Jeff Allen (25), and Dorenzo Hudson (21).
The win improves Maryland’s ACC road record to 4-3 and likely catapults the Terrapins into the top 25 for the first time since November. It was Maryland’s fourth straight comeback win from a second-half deficit and fifth straight win overall.
As much as his teammates may have provided the support in the final 10 minutes, the night belonged to Vasquez and is just another example of what he’s meant to Maryland this season. No player means more to his team in the Atlantic Coast Conference than Vasquez.
If he’s not the best player in the ACC this year, I still haven’t seen who’s better. Not Delaney or Jon Scheyer or Sylven Landesberg.
Talk about his combustible personality, his tendency to say the wrong thing, or his occasionally suspect decision making all you want, but there’s a reason why his jersey’s going to be raised to the Comcast Center rafters on Senior Night this Wednesday.
Vasquez will go down as perhaps the most under-appreciated player in school history, but he will undoubtedly leave College Park as one of its greatest too.
He’ll have one final act in front of the home crowd on Wednesday night against his nemesis Duke. It’s the one school that’s gotten the best of him in his career, with much of it brought on himself with the claims of Cameron Indoor Stadium being “his house” the last two seasons before embarrassing losses.
Unlike those two contests, Vasquez will actually be in “his house” one last time against Duke on Wednesday, and he’ll desperately seek redemption against the Blue Devils.
And with the way he’s playing right now and knowing it’s his final game in “his house,” I wouldn’t bet against him.
Check out the final stats here and the live blog below.
9:47 p.m. — Hayes gets the inbound pass and is fouled again. He goes to the line for two and misses the second.
Virginia Tech has it down by two, and Erick Green misses the 3-point attempt. Hard to believe Delaney gave that one up.
Mosley is fouled and goes to the line. He drains them both, and Maryland is going to win it.
Maryland defeats Virginia Tech in double overtime, 104-100.
An EPIC battle.
9:45 p.m. — Delaney gets to the basket with absolute ease with Vasquez offering little resistance and not wanting to give the three-point play opportunity.
Huge possession here for the Terps with 15.9 to go.
9:44 p.m. — Hayes goes to the stripe and drains them both. Who else would you want at the line in that situation? Steady.
Maryland leads, 101-98, with 21.3 seconds remaining.
9:41 p.m. — Allen completes the three-point play after Williams is called for the blocking foul.
One-point game and Hayes going to the line for two shots.
9:40 p.m. — Vasquez fouls Delaney on the shot, sending him to the line for two shots with 39.5 to play.
He misses both free throws. Wow.
Mosley is fouled and makes them both.
9:36 p.m. — Delaney hits the first and, following the timeout, drains the second to cut the lead to two points with 1:16 remaining.
Vasquez cannot hit the runner, but Hudson misses the layup on the other end. Unfortunately for Maryland, the ball goes off Gregory out of bounds and it stays with Virginia Tech.
9:32 p.m. — Critical misses by Allen on that trip to the line with Maryland up by four.
The Terps work some clock, but Vasquez cannot hit the shot off the glass.
Going the other way, Delaney is fouled by Vasquez.
9:30 p.m. — Did Gregory call that one? I don’t care if he didn’t, quite frankly.
9:29 p.m. — Gregory hits both free throws to give the Terps the early lead in the second overtime.
Delaney cannot score inside and Vasquez scores on the other end to give him 41 points.
9:26 p.m. — Having the clock fail to start matches up with everything else that’s gone wrong in this one at the Coliseum.
What a game though!
9:25 p.m. — Sorry for the lack of an update. Clearly we’ve gone to double overtime.
Let’s see what Vasquez and company have left for another five minutes.
9:21 p.m. — Hayes goes to the line for two and makes them both to tie the game.
41.1 seconds to go in this one.
9:20 p.m. — Bell hits the triple to put Tech up by two points with under a minute to go.
9:18 p.m. — Gregory cannot hit the jumper, and the Hokies have the ball, down by one.
Great defense by the Terps to force the 35-second violation.
9:17 p.m. — Thompson goes inside and draws the foul on Milbourne, his fifth.
Nice early contribution from him in overtime but a very forgettable night for him.
9:14 p.m. — A vicious pick by Jordan Williams on Delaney gives Vasquez the room to drill the triple.
39 points for Vasquez!
9:12 p.m. — Milbourne hits a shot. He NEEDED that one on so many levels.
9:10 p.m. — Maryland is 0-1 in overtime games this year.
Hope it’s a better outcome than the Wake Forest game.
9:06 p.m. — Hard to tell if his foot was on the line. I’m not watching in high definition, so it’s hard to tell.
9:04 p.m. — How do you just give Thompson an open look like that?
9:03 p.m. — 18 seconds to go.
Maryland by 3.
9:01 p.m. — That just CANNOT happen. Milbourne with a critical turnover.
8:59 p.m. — Vasquez draws the blocking foul on Allen, sending him to the line for a 1-and-1.
He hits both to give him 36 points and the Terps a three-point lead.
8:57 p.m. — Vasquez with his BIGGEST shot of the game, a 3-ball to give the Terps a one-point lead.
Unbelievable performance. 34 points.
8:55 p.m. — The Terps desperately need a stop down by two points, and they get it with the Allen miss.
Off the inbound pass, Vasquez finds Milbourne for the layup to tie the game.
8:52 p.m. — We’ve reached the final media timeout with the game tied 73-73.
Vasquez with a new season-high of 31 points.
8:51 p.m. — That was a nice, composed possession after throwing up some off-balance shots over the last couple minutes.
8:49 p.m. — Maryland desperately needs someone else to step up on the offensive end as Vasquez is definitely cooling off.
Hudson draws the blocking foul on Gregory and scores the basket.
72-69 Virginia Tech with a timeout on the floor.
8:47 p.m. — Gregory with the nice look inside to Milbourne for the layup.
Vasquez steals the inbound pass but then takes the 3-pointer and misses. Wasn’t necessarily a bad shot, but it gave the Terps no chance at an offensive rebound.
8:41 p.m. — We’ve reached the under-8 timeout. Maryland leads Tech, 67-66.
8:40 p.m. — That shot from Vasquez worries me. He was facing a double team yet still chucked up the 3-ball attempt. Obviously he’s not getting a lot of help, but he cannot do it all by himself.
Allen is absolutely killing the Terps right now.
8:38 p.m. — You can just see Vasquez getting in that frame of mind where he’s looking to score every time down the floor. Virginia Tech has no answers either.
We’ve got a good one in Blacksburg.
8:36 p.m. — Vasquez takes it inside for the finger roll. Making it look easy.
8:32 p.m. — Virginia Tech leads 59-58 with 11:18 remaining at the second media timeout of the second half.
8:29 p.m. — Vasquez with a very ill-advised shot, but then gets the steal and scores on a 3-on-1 disadvantage. Maryland takes a timeout, trailing by one.
8:27 p.m. — Allen with a very smart play going right after Milbourne with three fouls.
The scoring pace has picked up considerably in the first eight minutes of this one.
8:25 p.m. — Vasquez is absolutely torching the Hokies. Maryland is now on an 11-2 run and has regained the lead.
The Tech fans might want to think about leaving the senior from Venezuela alone for a little while.
8:20 p.m. — Gregory with the offensive board and gets it out to Vasquez for ANOTHER three. You can tell he’s really feeding off a hostile Cassell Coliseum crowd.
Perhaps the Hokies fans should have passed out a cheer sheet like NC State did earlier in the year. The jeers may end up hurting the Hokies’ chances in this one.
8:19 p.m. — Hayes with the active hands and dishes back to Vasquez for the triple to cut the lead to three points. Nice to see Hayes so active on the defensive end.
8:17 p.m. — Hudson continuing to have a big night with 15 points already.
Milbourne misses inside, but Williams fights hard for the offensive board and draws the foul.
Air-balling free throws will not help the cause at all.
8:14 p.m. — Virginia Tech looked much better beating the press that time and has now scored three straight times off the press.
Vasquez looks like he’s starting to get it going and now has 12 points.
Unfortunately, Delaney is heating up as well.
8:12 p.m. — The second half is underway with Hayes hitting a triple right off the bat. Definitely need to get him going after a quiet first half.
7:56 p.m. — We’ve reached the intermission with Virginia Tech leading Maryland, 37-31.
7:54 p.m. — Maryland shows the press and gives the Hokies trouble, but didn’t finish the play. Not enough urgency in going after the loose ball.
7:52 p.m. — Hokies fans displaying their class in chanting “USA!” at Vasquez. I’m as patriotic as the next guy, but I’m not sure I like chanting that at a foreign-born player.
7:51 p.m. — Vasquez doesn’t get a lot of credit for his defense, but he’s doing an outstanding job on Delaney so far in this one.
Maryland is being very sloppy with the basketball over its last few possessions.
7:48 p.m. — Nice feed inside to Padgett from Hayes, and the freshman shows nice control in going up for the basket.
Maryland continues to struggle from the outside with only Mosley having any real success from the perimeter in the first half.
7:46 p.m. — Gregory just ERASED that shot. Unfortunately, Vasquez loses it on the other end.
7:45 p.m. — Two fouls apiece for Milbourne and Williams. Meanwhile, Allen has only one for the Hokies.
Not exactly what you envisioned heading into this one if you’re a Maryland fan.
7:42 p.m. — Think Jordan Williams was padding his stats there?
On the other end, J.T. Thompson scores and is fouled by Jordan Williams, his second.
We’ve reached the final media timeout of the first half with the Hokies leading the Terps, 28-25, with 3:50 remaining.
7:40 p.m. — Once again, Maryland is having serious issues rebounding the basketball. You can understand it against the Georgia Techs and the Clemsons of the conference, but there’s no excuse against Virginia Tech.
7:38 p.m. — Delaney drains the 3-pointer for his first field goal. Hopefully that doesn’t get him going.
The Terps fail to score on the other end, and Allen scores in the paint to take a 24-23 lead for Virginia Tech.
7:34 p.m. — Why is Gregory shooting the ball two feet inside the 3-point line? Thankfully, Hayes scores on the second-chance opportunity.
We’ve reached the under-8 media timeout with Maryland leading Virginia Tech, 21-19.
7:32 p.m. — Despite Allen’s reputation, there was clearly no intent there. Good non-call by the officiating crew.
Cliff Tucker with some very questionable decision-making in the early going tonight. Not sure why he passed up an open opportunity in the lane to dish it out to Gregory 15 feet from the basket.
7:28 p.m. — Hopefully the stinger to the neck/shoulder of Mosley is just a minor thing. You’d hate to see something serious, especially when he’s shooting the ball so well.
7:23 p.m. — When asked about his shooting slump after the Clemson game, Mosley said he didn’t think he was in a slump.
Whatever you wanted to call it, it’s clear he’s looking much better offensively.
Jordan Williams scores inside, plus the foul.
We’ve reached the second media timeout with the Terps leading the Hokies, 15-11.
7:21 p.m. — Those are the types of things Mosley does that are so invaluable yet do not show up on the stat sheet. Yes, he’s struggled offensively in conference play, but don’t underestimate his impact.
7:18 p.m. — Seeing Mosley hit some outside shots HAS to excite you as a Terps fan. If he can regain his early-season form from the perimeter, this team becomes that much more dangerous.
7:16 p.m. — We’ve reached the first media timeout with Maryland and Virginia Tech tied 8-8 with 15:24 remaining.
7:13 p.m. — Very nice step-around move by Davila to get by Jordan Wiliams. Don’t see that happen too often to the Maryland frosh.
Allen scores inside against Milbourne to give the Hokies a two-point edge.
7:11 p.m. — You think the Hokies fans dislike Vasquez or something?
Neither teams doing very much offensively in the first few minutes. The energy level has been there for both teams, however. I was curious to see how fast these teams started after a three-hour wait.
7:09 p.m. — I like seeing the Terps take the ball inside on their first few possessions. This team has clearly struggled with its perimeter shooting on the road this season.
Hayes continues to show an improved ability to take the ball to the basket, only improving his chances for open looks from the perimeter.
7:05 p.m. — The match-up between Delaney and Mosley—two Baltimore products that are very familiar with each other—will definitely be one to watch. Mosley did a nice job against his Charm City counterpart a year ago as the Terps earned the victory at Comcast Center.
6:57 p.m. — Here are tonight’s starters:
G Eric Hayes
G Greivis Vasquez
G Sean Mosley
F Landon Milbourne
F Jordan Williams
G Malcolm Delaney
G Dorenzo Hudson
F Terrell Bell
F Jeff Allen
C Victor Davila
6:55 p.m. — In a contest already being labeled the Outhouse Game, it appears Maryland will finally tip off against Virginia Tech in the next 15 minutes. A water main break earlier this afternoon delayed the game by three hours and has disabled running water in the Cassell Coliseum bathrooms, forcing fans to use nearby facilities (That’s where the outhouse reference comes in. Clever, isn’t it?)
With the delay, I’m sure the Terps (20-7, 10-3 ACC) were able to follow North Carolina’s upset victory over Wake Forest, giving Maryland an opportunity to clinch the No. 2 seed in the ACC with a victory over the Hokies tonight.
On the other side, Virginia Tech (21-6, 8-5 ACC) has lost two in a row and currently sits 47th in the projected RPI, leaving the Hokies with work to do to secure a bid between now and Selection Sunday. The Hokies’ most recent loss came on Wednesday night, an inexplicable 80-60 loss at Boston College.
The Hokies are of course led by Baltimore product Malcolm Delaney who leads the ACC in scoring at 20.2 points per game and is among the top candidates—Maryland’s Greivis Vasquez included—for ACC Player of the year.
In addition to Delaney’s scoring prowess, Virginia Tech has two other players averaging double-digit scoring with Dorenzo Hudson (14.0) and Jeff Allen (11.3). Allen is a formidable threat in the paint, but has been unable to avoid foul trouble, averaging 3.6 fouls per contest.
Virginia Tech does not possess an imposing frontcourt, so it’s critical for Allen to stay on the floor to counteract the presence of Maryland freshman Jordan Williams.
With a delay of this nature, it’s difficult to say who really has the advantage, but Virginia Tech is clearly feeling more pressure at this point in the season, so three extra hours to think about consecutive losses to Duke and Boston College probably didn’t help its mental psyche. On the other hand, the Hokies are undefeated at Cassell Coliseum this season (when the bathrooms actually worked), so it’s clearly a very intimidating atmosphere for the Terps.
Tonight’s game will be televised on WNUV-TV 54 in Baltimore despite concerns that it would not due to the delay.
Stay with WNST.net throughout the game, and feel free to chime in with your thoughts on the Comments section at the bottom of the page. As always, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter (@WNST) for thoughts from various WNST personalities throughout the evening.
6:00 p.m. — I just received the OFFICIAL word from the University of Maryland the game would be televised on WNUV-TV 54 in Baltimore at 7:00 p.m.
The game will also be shown on WDCA-TV in Washington.
5:37 p.m. — Despite more reported issues at Cassell Coliseum, the game will tip off at 7:00 p.m. Apparently the restrooms inside the building are not functioning, and fans will be allowed to use surrounding restrooms.
It’s a good thing there are so many outhouses in Blacksburg.
5:05 p.m. — According to Patrick Stevens (D1scourse), the start of tonight’s game has now been moved to 7:00 p.m. The water issues have been fixed according to Virginia Tech officials.
5:00 p.m. — In an effort to keep this blog going until the start of the game at 6:30, I thought I’d pass along this witty comment from our good buddy Rich.
No truth to the rumor that Tiger Woods was driving the beer truck that hit the fire hydrant outside Cassell Coliseum and caused the water main break.
4:23 p.m. — With the news of North Carolina upsetting Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, Maryland is now in a position to clinch no worse than the No. 2 seed in the ACC Tournament with a win over Virginia Tech tonight.
A couple weeks ago, Dino Gaudio’s Demon Deacons were looking quite possibly like the second-best team in the ACC, but a three-game losing streak—with the last two coming against the two worst teams in the conference—has dropped them to 8-6 in the conference.
4:05 p.m. — I just got off the phone with WNUV-TV 54 in Baltimore, and the network still plans to air the Maryland game despite the start being moved from 4:00 to 6:30 p.m.
That should be a major relief to anyone in the Baltimore area.
3:45 p.m. — Good afternoon, and thanks for joining me here on WNST.net to watch the Terps (20-7, 10-3 ACC) take on the Virginia Tech Hokies (21-6, 8-5 ACC) at Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg.
The game was scheduled to tip off at 4:00 p.m. on Raycom (locally on WNUV-TV 54 in Baltimore), but a water main break at Cassell Coliseum has pushed the start to 6:30 p.m.
A Raycom Sports official said the game will still be telecast on the network, but it will be up to each individual affiliate as to whether it will carry the broadcast, according to a University of Maryland official.
We’ll be following this story in the coming hours.