Once again, the Maryland Terrapins couldn't finish in a tough road game against a solid opponent. This time, it might be the final straw. The Terps fell to Virginia Tech 91-83 in Blacksburg, dropping them to 16-10 and 5-6 in the ACC. Barring a torrid finish to the regular season or a surprise run in the ACC Tournament, it looks like Maryland will miss the NCAA Tournament and head to the NIT for the fourth time in seven seasons.
Virginia Tech, on the other hand, improved to 17-7 and 7-4 in the ACC, improving an NCAA Tournament resume that gets better every day. Malcolm Delaney scored 22 points, hitting 14 of 14 from the line to mask a horrendous 3-14 performance from the field, and Erick Green added 20. Terrell Stoglin scored 25 points off the bench to lead the Terps, but after sparking them in the first half, he couldn't save them late. Jordan Williams added 16 points and nine rebounds.
A jumper by Delaney and a three-pointer by Green gave Virginia Tech the lead for good. Green's three came with the shot clock buzzer sounding, and it gave the Hokies a 82-76 advantage with 3:25 left. Williams and Dino Gregory then traded layup misses, allowing Virginia Tech to control clock. The Terps had their chances late, thanks to a couple Hokies turnovers, but Stoglin missed a jumper, and later, Adrian Bowie missed a layup and that was the final straw.
The Terps maintained a slim lead at the beginning of the second half until Virginia Tech went on an 8-0 run that culminated in a three-pointer by Terrell Bell and two free throws by Delaney that gave the Hokies a 66-61 lead with 11:07 left. The Terps cut the lead to one twice, but Green hit a jumper to push it back out to five with 7:20 left.
Maryland took the lead back with an 8-0 run, punctuated by a layup from Pe'Shon Howard at the 6:12 mark, and the lead changed hands from there until Delaney gave the Hokies the lead for good with two free throws with 4:54 left.
The Terps fall to 2-8 this season in games decided by 10 points or less.