Rice leads Boston College to upset of Maryland, 71-68
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP)—Tyrese Rice scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half and Boston College snapped a six-game losing streak with a 71-68 comeback win over sloppy Maryland on Thursday in the first round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
Rakim Sanders, with 13 points, was one of four other players in double figures for the 11th-seeded Eagles (14-16), who rallied from an 11-point second-half deficit to advance to play third-seeded Clemson on Friday.
James Gist scored 19 points and the Terrapins (18-14) shot 52 percent but committed 21 turnovers to end their NCAA tournament hopes.
The Eagles, who came in having lost 12 of 13 games, fell behind 20-5 and 36-25 to start the second half, only to come back behind their dynamic point guard and his young teammates.
Rice, who had been a one-man show for much of the season, hit two free throws in the closing seconds to send Maryland to its fifth loss in six games.
It was another inconsistent night for the sixth-seeded Terrapins, who have perplexed excitable coach Gary Williams all season. After consecutive home losses to Ohio and American early in the season, they won three straight ACC road games, including at top-ranked North Carolina to get into NCAA tournament contention.
Then Maryland began to slide again, including a stunning collapse at home against Clemson when the Terrapins squandered a 20-point lead with 11 minutes left.
Knowing now they’ll likely need a deep run this week to get an NCAA bid, the Terrapins melted down again when it mattered.
Maryland turned the ball over on five straight possessions and Josh Southern’s half-hook with 3:55 left capped a 13-0 run to give Boston College a 60-50 lead.
Maryland then scored seven straight points with turnover-creating full-court pressure, but Southern broke the streak with a layup with 2:11 left. Rice’s free throws ended another late comeback bid.
The Eagles, a year removed from a second-round NCAA tournament loss, advance despite a roster with 10 freshman and sophomores.
With Gist hitting four of his first five shots and recording consecutive steals, Maryland scored 13 straight points to build a 20-5 lead.
Then the bad Maryland showed up. Gist didn’t take another shot in the half, Maryland went six minutes without a field goal and the Eagles got within 31-25 at halftime.
Gist hit a 3-pointer and a jumper to start the second half, only to watch Rice lead the Eagles on a 17-3 run to take a 42-39 lead.