Maryland returns to road Saturday at Virginia Tech

February 01, 2014 | WNST Staff

Maryland travels to Blacksburg, Va. for the final time in ACC play Saturday at noon as it looks for its second consecutive conference victory. The Terrapins swept the season series last season, and have won three in-a-row against the Hokies.

Watch: ACCN – Tim Brant (Play-by-Play), Dan Bonner (Analyst)

Listen: Terrapin Sports Radio Network - Johnny Holliday (Play-by-Play), Chris Knoche (Analyst); Sirius 92, XM 190

Storylines

• The Terrapins are a formidable 30-10 all-time against Virginia Tech, winning 24 of the first 27 games in the series from 1926-2005. The teams have split the last 12 games, however, with the Hokies winning 4-of-6 during that span in Cassell Coliseum.

• The Terps snapped a two-game losing skid with a 74-71 home victory against Miami Wednesday. Maryland squandered a 10-point lead in the waning minutes, before junior Dez Wells saved the day with a game-winning 3-pointer with 5.9 seconds remaining.

• Maryland has shot over 48 percent in back-to-back games for the first time since 2011-12 when it shot 51 percent against both Samford and Albany. The Terps last accomplished the feat in ACC play during the 2010-11 season when they shot 58 percent against NC State (2/20) and 52 percent against Florida State (2/23).

• After picking up two early fouls and being relegated to the bench without taking a single shot in the first half, Dez Wells responded with an incredible 7-for-7 performance (6-for-6 FT’s) in the second half to the tune of 21 points. He is averaging a team-best 16.4 points on the road this season.

• Maryland also got strong production from its shooting forwards against Miami, as Evan Smotrycz and Jake Laymancombined for 30 points. Smotrycz is shooting 57 percent (12-for-21) over his last three games.

Wells Leads Terps Past Miami
Dez Wells scored all 21 of his points in the second half and drilled a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 5.9 seconds left to carry Maryland past Miami 74-71 Wednesday night.
Limited to five minutes of playing time in the first half after picking up two quick fouls, Wells went 7-for-7 from the floor and 6-for-6 at the foul line over the final 20 minutes.
The Terrapins blew a 10-point lead over the final 2:30 before Wells connected from the top of the key, breaking the deadlock.
Jake Layman and Evan Smotrycz each tallied 15 points for Maryland, which captured its fourth ACC win of the season. Maryland (12-9, 4-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) trailed 55-54 with 8:37 remaining before Wells scored 10 points during a 15-4 run.
The Terps shot 56 percent from the field, and 70 percent in a highly-effective second half. Smotrycz led the Terps with four assists.

Scouting Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech has lost seven consecutive ACC games since winning its conference-opening game against Miami on Dec. 8. The Hokies most recently fell to Boston College on Jan. 29, and have lost their last two games by a combined 44 points.
Senior forward Jarell Eddie leads the Hokies in both scoring (14.9/g) and rebounding (5.9/g), while shooting an ACC-best 42 percent from beyond-the-arc.  Eddie scored 23 points and added 10 rebounds in a losing effort against Boston College.
Virginia Tech currently ranks second in the ACC in 3-point field goal percentage (.386) and fourth in blocks (5.1/g). The Hokies are last in the conference in steals (3.3/g) and turnover margin (-4.0).

Back to the ‘Wells’
Junior Dez Wells put on a show for the ages against Miami, scoring all 21 of his points in the second half on 7-for-7 shooting. Every shot Wells took went in the basket (6-for-6 FT’s), including the game-winner with 5.9 seconds remaining.
Wells got off to a slow start against the Hurricanes, as he picked up two fouls just 3:38 into the first half. The junior returned to the lineup for a brief 81 seconds before returning to the bench without attempting a shot.
After Miami tied the game at 71 with 19 seconds remaining, Wells dribelled up the court and then pulled up for a 3-point jumper with 5.9 seconds left to secure the victory.

Statistically Speaking

  • Junior Evan Smotrycz has regained his shooting stroke, shooting a cool 57 percent (70 percent from 3-pt range) on 12-of-21 shooting over the last three games. He shot 9-of-36 (25 percent) in the previous three games.
  • Sophomore Jake Layman has scored at least 15 points in back-to-back games for the first time since Marist (11/22) and Northern Iowa (11/24).
  • Dez Wells has scored in double-figures in 16 of his last 17 games, and is averaging 16.4 points over the last five games.
  • Maryland shot over 48 percent in back-to-back ACC games for the first time in three seasons, as it shot 48 percent against Pitt and 56 percent versus Miami.
  • The Terps are 9-1 when leading at the half, and also 9-1 when holding opponents under 70 points.

Turgeon Participates in Austism Awareness Day
Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon is one of nearly 100 men’s basketball coaches throughout the country that will be wearing the “Autism Speaks” pin on his suit jacket today in support ofAustism Awareness Day. Towson’s Pat Skerry and Marshall’s Tom Herrion, each who have sons on the autism spectrum, have started a nationwide campaign to raise awareness about this disease.

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