Jasikevicius toes line, lifts Terps 3 free throws break tie with 1.1 left, send UM past Ga. Tech, 70-67

Hero fouled on 3-point try

Early 16-point lead lost amid foul trouble

January 22, 1998|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

ATLANTA -- Matt Harpring has had a great career at Georgia Tech, but last night's 70-67 loss to Maryland at Alexander Memorial Coliseum was not a night he'll remember.

The senior forward, who is bidding to become only the fourth player in Atlantic Coast Conference leader to lead the league in both scoring and rebounding, got the Yellow Jackets even on a driving basket with 5.4 seconds left, but he then fouled Sarunas Jasikevicius 30 feet from the basket at the other end.

Maryland's senior guard calmly made all three of his free throws with 1.1 seconds remaining, giving the Terps a victory on a night when all of their veteran players struggled at one time or another.

Harpring got the chance to tie on a turnover by Terrell Stokes with 20.6 seconds left, as the Terps did not get a basket out of their last seven possessions.

Maryland (11-6, 4-3), which swept Georgia Tech last year, played consecutive ACC games on the road for the only time this season. The Terps return to Cole Field House on Saturday (4 p.m.) to face No. 25 Clemson.

Georgia Tech (12-6, 2-4) hasn't lost two games in a row yet, but the Yellow Jackets haven't scored what could be considered a major victory since they topped then-No. 19 Louisville en route to its surprise championship in the Puerto Rican Shootout in November.

The Terps were led in scoring by Rodney Elliott (16) and freshmen Terence Morris (13) and Mike Mardesich (10) off the bench. Dion Glover led Georgia Tech with 21 points, as Maryland limited Harpring to 14 points.

Georgia Tech, the second-worst three-point team in the ACC, made only one of nine in the first half, but the Yellow Jackets nailed eight from beyond the arc in the second half, when the Terps' 3-2 zone limited Harpring's touches, but was too soft on the perimeter.

Two baskets from long-distance by senior forward Michael Maddox allowed Georgia Tech to cut into a 60-51 deficit, and another by Glover got the Yellow Jackets within 65-62 with 3: 34 left.

By that time, it was a one possession game, and Maryland made the most of its next chance, as Stokes drew the defense and fed Elliott for a wide-open 15-footer on the left baseline and a five-point lead with 2: 58 left.

The Terps tightened up, however, and their next four possessions consisted of misses by Obinna Ekezie, Jasikevicius, turnover by Stokes and another miss by Jasikevicius. After both of his misfires, Terps were called for going over the back.

Alvin Jones, a 6-foot-11 freshman, converted his first one-and-one with 1: 49 left, but missed his second with 47.4 seconds remaining, allowing Maryland to cling to a 67-65 lead.

Maryland scored seven straight points midway through the second half to extend its lead to 58-49 with 8: 14 left. The mini-run included a Mardesich basket off the dribble, a free throw by Laron Profit; a steal and basket by Jasikevicius, and a post-up and dunk by Elliott.

Georgia Tech, the second-worst three-point team in the ACC, made just one of nine in the first half, but three from beyond the arc by 6-6 sophomore Jason Floyd in less than 90 seconds allowed the Yellow Jackets to get within 51-49 with 10: 56 left.

Maryland got little from its veteran inside players in the first half, but Ekezie got back in the flow after the break, as he scored 10 points in less than four minutes, his three-point play putting the Terps ahead 51-46 with 11: 39 left.

For the second straight game, the Terps faced a much younger team. Maryland was sadly lacking energy against Wake Forest, which started four freshmen, the number of rookies Yellow Jacket coach Bobby Cremins uses in his eight-man rotation.

After only 11 minutes, both Ekezie and Elliott were on the bench with their third fouls, and the Yellow Jackets jumped on the Terps' lack of an inside game to come back from a 23-7 deficit. Ekezie played six minutes in the first half and missed his only field-goal attempt.

Maryland's cushion was still a comfortable 29-20 with 5: 15 left, but the Terps went five minutes without a basket with a lineup that consisted of point guards Stokes and Matt Kovarik and freshmen Mardesich, Morris and LaRon Cephas.

Mardesich's left-handed bank shot with 55 seconds left ended the field-goal drought and gave the Terps a 31-29 lead at the half, but the momentum was clearly with the Yellow Jackets, who had gotten the tie at 29 with a 9-0 run.

The coup de grace came on Travis Spivey's three-point play in transition, which was triggered by Jones' block of Mardesich.

The Terps retained possession after a similar block with 1.2 seconds left, and some rugged play under the basket caused Georgia Tech assistant Kevin Cantwell to complain about Harpring going to the floor, prompting official Mike Wood to give the Yellow Jacket bench a lecture. Harpring came out for the second half with a small bandage over his right eyebrow.

Harpring dunked off the game's opening tip, but the Yellow Jackets scored just one basket over the next nine minutes, and Maryland used a 13-0 run to go ahead 23-7 with 10: 46 left in the first half.

The Terps' press and traps were abetted by Georgia Tech's careless ball-handling. Several of the Yellow Jackets' 15 first-half turnovers were unforced. Maryland started 1-for-6 at the free-throw line, but the Terps were sharp beyond the arc. The 13-0 run included two threes by Jasikevicius and one by Morris. Georgia Tech answered with eight straight points of its own, but the Terps still had a 27-15 lead with 6: 00 left on Morris' tip of his own miss.

Pub Date: 1/22/98

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