COLLEGE PARK--Mark Turgeon was forced to make one of the most difficult decisions a coach can be forced to make in one of the program’s most symbolically important games in its long history.
He chose to foul Virginia’s Malcolm Brogdon with his team leading by three points with 0:03 to play, which ultimately backfired after a made Cavalier free throw and a miss on the second, then a bounce off a tipped rebound helped Virginia to retain possession.
That extra possession led to an Anthony Gill layup with less than a second to play, sending upset-minded students who were ready for a court storm back to their seats and forcing them to grind out an overtime possession before the celebration could begin.
And they did it.
Jake Layman’s free throws down the stretch in overtime sealed Maryland’s biggest win of the season, 75-69, over the No. 5 Cavaliers at Comcast Center in College Park.
Dez Wells had 18 points, including 16 after halftime, to pace Maryland’s push in the final 25 minutes. Sophomore guard Seth Allen led all scorers with 20 points.
Maryland 75, Virginia 69
VIRGINIA FORCES OVERTIME
The Terrapins chose to foul, sending Virginia’s Malcolm Brogdon to the line where he would make one and miss another, but Virginia retained possession. Poor defense allowed Gill to get open for the shot at the rim, which forced overtime.
The verdict remains split on whether fouling when leading by three points is the best option in a late-game situation. On Sunday, Maryland was forced to win in overtime.
DEZ WELLS SECOND HALF OUTBURST (AGAIN)
After scoring just two points in the first half, Dez Wells began the second by scoring his team’s first six points. The offense ran through him much more in the second. He had 16 points after the break.
SMOTRYCZ KEEPS TERPS AFLOAT
If it weren’t for Evan Smotrycz in the first half, it likely wouldn’t be much of a ball game. As the rest of the offense struggled to find its footing, Smotrycz led all scorers with 13 points in the first half on 5-of-6 shooting.
Guarded by Virginia’s Akil Mitchell, he was able to use his ballhandling skills to work his way to the basket. He finished with those 13 points.
He’s only a freshman, but Virginia point guard London Perrantes was deadly for the Cavaliers on Sunday against Maryland. His 12 first-half points didn’t just pace the offense, but the 4-of-5 shooting from three-point range extended the defense and often came at the end of the shot clock.
He left the game briefly in the first half and returned with fingers on both hands taped. But that did little to slow him down in the first. He was less effective in the second, scoring just two points.
LONE SENIOR ON SENIOR NIGHT
John Auslander, Maryland’s lone senior, received a nice round of applause during his Senior Day ceremony and earned a spot in the starting lineup on Sunday. He played until almost the under-16 media timeout of the first half. He was 0-of-1 from the floor.