Maryland Terrapins forward Jake Layman appears to have some sort of personal vendetta against the Virginia Tech Hokies.
Layman scored 14 points and helped guide the Terrapins to a regular-season sweep over the Hokies, 60-55 in a game that required sand paper and grit to compete in. Despite shooting only 40% from the floor, the Terrapins converted free throws when they needed it most in the final few minutes in order to secure their first road victory during ACC play. This also marks the first time during conference play that the Terrapins have won two consecutive games.
Layman followed his trend of starting strong against Virginia Tech, scoring all of his points in the first 22 minutes of play. In their earlier matchup this year, Layman dropped 20 points in the first half and guided the Terrapins to a big time rout of the Hokies. Maryland needed all they could get out of Layman, too, or they would have been trailing by more than just three points at the halfway mark, 27-24.
The Terrapins dominance on the boards, a staple of their play all season, continued during this matchup, however, as they dictated the majority of the game by outrebouding the Hokies 44 – 29 for the game. James Padgett led the charge with 11 (along with eight points), but Dez Wells and Charles Mitchell both had 9 apiece. Padgett’s six offensive rebounds were his most on the season.
The Virginia Tech Hokies got all they could out of the nation’s leading scorer, Erick Green, but it simply wasn’t enough to nudge them into the victory column for only the third time in ACC play. Green scored a ho-hum 29 points and kept the Hokies within arms reach all night, but his supporting cast couldn’t muster up the rest of the points required to win.
Outside of Green, only Cadarian Raines scored in double figures. Raines finished with 14 points on 7-of-13 shooting. The rest of the Hokies squad struggled with the Terrapins stingy defense that held the team to only 34% from the floor.
The game was not entirely decided until the last few seconds of the game, however, thanks to sloppy Maryland play (they had 14 turnovers) and missed shots. Alex Len sank two free throws with 58 seconds left to put the Terrapins up 56-53, but a turnover gave Tech’s Robert Brown the ball back. Fortunately for Maryland, he missed his jumper and the Hokies fouled Nick faust, who hit a pair of free throws to bring the lead to 58-53.
The Hokies actually cut the lead to three with only 9.8 seconds left on a pair of Green free throws, but Seth Allen responded right back with a couple of his own to put the score at 60-55 and secure the victory.
The only other Terrapin to score in double figures was Alex Len, who finished with 10 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Dez Wells had a fantastic performance, however, hitting a pair of three pointers to give him 8 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists on the day.
The Terrapins have very little time to reminisce on their first road victory, as they face a very tough test at home against Virginia, who is currently third in the ACC. The Cavaliers have been a surprise this season, and will pose a major threat to Maryland’s win streak. The game is Sunday at 1 PM. Roll Terps.