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Rising above The Terrapins had won five of their last six games before losing at Chestnut Hill. Boston College, who entered play just a half-game behind Maryland at 5-5 in the conference, entered a key win for their post-season resume. Gary Williams suggested earlier this week that he expected five teams from the ACC to earn bids to the N.C.A.A. Tournament. If that notion is true, the Eagles seized the opportunity Saturday afternoon and Williams' team missed out.
Naismith watch On Friday, Terps sophomore center Jordan Williams was named to the midseason watch list for the Naismith Award. Williams leads Maryland in scoring (17.3 ppg) and rebounding (11.9 rpg), and leads the nation in double-doubles. However, against Boston College, the double-team defense employed to slow down the Terps big man resulted in him earning his first points with seven minutes remaining in the first half. Williams had just four points on four shot attempts before the break, and just 12 in total on the afternoon.
Freshman on fire In his third consecutive start at point guard, Pe'Shon Howard continued his outstanding play. Confident in his shot, Howard dropped 14 points, 4-5 from 3-point range, including 3-3 in the first half. He also was dynamic as a passer with three assists, although that number should have been higher if the team had a better shooting performance.
Beyond the arc In the first half, Reggie Jackson led Boston College with an impressive display of long-range firing. The Eagles had five 3-pointers in the first half before Maryland finally answered. Eventually, both teams registered five makes from downtown each to start the game. Leading the way of course was Jackson, who nailed five of his team's 10 3-pointers for the game. Howard's four 3-pointers, along with one from Adrian Bowie and Terrell Stoglin each accounted for the six for the Terrapins.
Mr. February Jackson, considered by many the most underrated player in the ACC, is the conference's third-leading scorer (18.0 ppg), and is fourth in the league in 3-point FG percentage (42 percent). And both of those marks came into play against Maryland, as Jackson dropped a game-high 31 points, including 75 percent from the field. Jackson also made his presence felt on the boards with eight, as the Terrapins were defenseless against the size and athleticism of Boston College's best player.
What it means If both teams are considered on the bubble for the tournament, this is definitely a game that the selection committee will look to when deciding which ACC teams are worthy of bids. The Eagles are 2-0 against Maryland this season, both with 16-9 records but B.C. having the edge with a sixth conference win.
What's ahead Call Tuesday night's showdown in Blacksburg a must-win for the tournament resume. Like Boston College, the Hokies beat down Maryland with what was then the largest margin of defeat at Comcast Center in its history. Virginia Tech and Malcolm Delaney find themselves in a similar situation as the Terps, so this game could also be one of those games that could determine post-season aspirations.