Terps Win in a Thriller

A last second three pointer from Cliff Tucker sent the Comcast Center into hysteria as the Terps won 76-74 over Georgia Tech.

If someone were to ask any college basketball fan who would take a last second shot to win for Maryland, 100 out of 100 probably would answer Greivis Vasquez.

Saturday afternoon, down by one with 1.5 seconds on the clock, all 100 of those people would have been wrong.

Cliff Tucker, who averages less than six points a game, caught an inbounds pass from Eric Hayes, pump-faked his defender, and put up a shot that looked like it took minutes to get to the rim.

It was worth the wait, as the shot fell and beat the buzzer sending the Terps to a 76-74 win over freshman sensation Derrick Favors and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

“When I saw the shot go in,” Tucker said, “I just starting running. I didn't know what to do. I'm still in shock right now. I dreamed about it, and it finally happened.”

In a back-and-forth game that neither team led by more than six at any point, with four lead changes in the final 24 seconds, Maryland moved to 19-7 and 9-3 in ACC play with four games left on the schedule.

Greivis Vasquez scored 18 points, dished out 8 assists and grabbed 5 rebounds, and scored his 2,000th career point in the game. He became the first player in the history of the ACC with 2,000 points, 700 assists and 600 rebounds.

Favors gave the Terps fits the whole game, scoring 21 points to go along with a career-high 18 rebounds. He scored on a putback layup with three seconds left for Georgia Tech's final lead before Tucker's big shot.

The Yellow Jackets double-teamed Vasquez to prevent him from getting the ball for the last shot, but the Venezuelan senior knows that winning isn't all about him for Maryland, and Georgia Tech found that out the hard way.

“Every win we got, we got as a team,” Vasquez said after the game. “This is nothing about me. Praise Cliff. He made that big shot for us and won the game.”

Head coach Gary Williams was so frustrated at one point in the second half when Georgia Tech went on a 7-0 run to take a five point lead that he threw his suit jacket down on the sideline, but Tucker subbed in for Sean Mosley soon after and made his first three of the game, which brought the crowd of 17,950 to their feet once again, where they were for the majority of the second half.

The Terps also got productive play from bench players besides Tucker. Juniors Dino Gregory and Adrian Bowie scored nine and six points respectively, and were used to spell the starters, who Williams said were tired from playing a brutal stretch of four games in eight days.

“Greivis Vasquez was very tired and he played like a warrior out there,” Williams said. “The effort he gave today was probably as good as any game he scores 30 points in. The legs after a while, no matter how good of shape you are in, will get tired.”

The Terps moved into sole possession of second place in the ACC with their win. First-place Duke will play third-place Virginia Tech on Sunday.

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