Sunday, February 21, 2010

TERPS WIN WITH RARE BUZZER BEATER

If the rising temperatures and melting snow didn’t tip you off that we’re easing our way closer to March (the best basketball month of the year), Maryland’s last second win over Georgia Tech surely tipped you off.

With 1:20 left in the game Maryland’s Eric Hayes made a three pointer to give the Terps a 71-68 lead. With 55 second left, Derrick Favors pulled the Jackets within one at 70-71. Twenty-one second later D’Andre Bell gave Tech the lead, but ten seconds after that Greivis Vasquez nailed a jumper to put the Terps back on top.

Not so fast – with two second remaining Derrick Favors made a putback on a missed Iman Shumpert jumper and Georgia Tech was back in front 74-73. The Terps took the ball out and Greivis Vasquez made a running one-hander at the buzzer to give Maryland the improbable victory…

Well…no.

Assistant coach (and former Terp player) Keith Booth had called timeout so Vasquez’s shot didn’t count so the Terps got the ball with 1.5 seconds. Of course, Terps head coach Gary Williams ordered up the timeout so he could get his guys to run a called play where either Hayes or Vasquez slides off a pick at half-court, catches the inbound pass and nails the jump shot to win the game.

No problem.

But, wait, that wasn’t Hayes or Vasquez catching the inbounds pass, but Cliff Tucker, a backup guard.

Didn’t matter.

Tucker buried a three-pointer as time expired and the Terps were 76-74 winners over a stunned Georgia Tech.
Asked if he ever took that shot in practice, Tucker replied, "I've never been that guy. In fact, I'm usually on the (backup) team going against the starters."

The wild finish overshadowed a milestone performance by Maryland senior Greivis Vasquez, who scored 18 to become the sixth player in school history to reach the 2,000-point mark.

Vasquez is the first ACC player to have at least 2,000 points, 700 assists and 600 rebounds. He now has 2,013 points to trail only Juan Dixon, Len Bias, Albert King, Adrian Branch and John Lucas on Maryland's career list.

Eric Hayes scored 15 for Maryland and Jordan Williams had nine points and 12 rebounds. The victory gave the Terrapins (19-7, 9-3) sole possession of second place in the ACC.
Favors had 21 points and 18 rebounds, both season highs, and Iman Shumpert scored 17 for the Yellow Jackets (18-9, 6-7). Georgia Tech is 1-6 on the road in the ACC and has lost nine straight to Maryland since February 2004.

Maryland had not won a game on the final shot since 2003.

To read more from the Baltimore Sun, click here.

(Photos by Jonathan Newton-Washington Post)

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