JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville University basketball team has been promoting its season with the pronouncement, "The big schools are coming. . . . It's feeding time."
After letting teams like Navy and Mississippi State slip away, a bunch of hungry Dolphins chomped on Maryland last night, upsetting the struggling Terps, 71-70.
A wide-open inbounds layup by forward Tim Burroughs with 11 seconds left gave Jacksonville the lead, and Reggie Law's block on a drive by Walt Williams at the buzzer preserved the victory before a crowd of 5,011 at Jacksonville Coliseum.
The defeat was the third straight for Maryland (2-3), which led by as many as nine points, 56-47, with a little over 12 minutes remaining. The Terps had led, 71-70, on a three-point play by Walt Williams with 51 seconds left.
"This team has got to love basketball a little more," said Maryland coach Gary Williams, who was more visibly distressed after this defeat than the previous two. "I feel personally responsible to motivate these players, and I haven't been able to motivate them so far."
Maryland had several opportunities to put the game away after Law missed a short jumper with 10 seconds remaining. But the Terps failed to control the rebound -- they were out-rebounded, 44-24 -- and gave Jacksonville (3-3) a chance to set up its inbounds play.
With point guard Danny Tirado throwing the ball in, Burroughs faked as if he were going to set up a screen at the foul line. When Cedric Lewis went for the fake, Burroughs went right back to the basket, where Tirado (career-high 15 assists) found him for a layup.
"It's really distressing not to get set up properly and let the guy walk in for a layup," said Gary Williams. "We were in a man-to-man defense, and somebody -- I know who it was -- didn't get to his man."
"I think he [Lewis] was a little shocked," said Burroughs, a 6-foot-8, 265-pound junior transfer who didn't start after missing a film session yesterday, but finished with 19 points and 18 rebounds. "He had his hands out, like 'How did you get in there?' I think they let up a little after they got the lead."
After not taking full advantage of a horrendous start by the Dolphins, who missed their first 11 shots, the Terps had trouble pulling away. But after leading 58-50, Maryland watched Jacksonville climb back.
After a short jumper by Evers Burns (15 points) put Maryland ahead, 67-63, with a little over three minutes left, Jacksonville came back to take the lead with six straight points, the last two on a pair of free throws by Tirado with 1 minute, 11 seconds remaining.
"I think we just started to make our shots," said Jacksonville coach Rich Haddad. "Sometimes coaches don't like when things come too easy, too soon."
This was the second straight game in which Maryland failed to hold a fair-sized lead. The Terps led Boston College by nine points Monday night with 15 minutes left before being blown out, 100-85.
"We always seem to get away from doing what got us the lead," said Walt Williams, who led the Terps with 20 points.
Yet, it appeared that Maryland had escaped when Williams made the three-point play to put the Terps ahead, and when Law missed the short jumper in the lane. One rebound away is how close Maryland came to winning this game.
But on a night when the officials missed an obvious three-point shot by Kevin McLinton -- the sophomore guard swished in a long lob pass intended for Walt Williams in the first half -- things didn't go Maryland's way.
"There were a lot of things we didn't do," said Gary Williams, who was hit with a technical foul later in the first half. "We had trouble rebounding the last 30 minutes. Even before the last basket, we should have gotten the ball cleanly."
The victory for Jacksonville was its first over an Atlantic Coast Conference team since 1981 and one of the biggest in down times. When the buzzer sounded, Burroughs jumped on the press table and pumped his fist at the crowd.
"This is a big win for us, coming against an ACC team," said Burroughs. "Maryland is Maryland."
Which, right now, is not very good.