Freshman gives Terps another boost against Hokies

The SportsXchange

BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Maryland freshman Jake Layman has scored in double figures five times this season, with two of his biggest games coming against Virginia Tech.

He scored a career-high 20 points against the Hokies on Jan. 5 in College Park and was the key player for the Terrapins in the rematch Thursday night at Cassell Coliseum.

Layman scored a team-high 14 points and was a major contributor during two key stretches as Maryland won 60-55 for its first Atlantic Coast Conference road victory in five tries this season.

"It's awesome to finally win an ACC game on the road," Layman said. "It'll help us down the road in other road games the way we had to grind this one out."

Layman has scored 125 points this season, with 27.5 percent of those coming in the two wins against the Hokies. He scored eight of the Terrapins' first 10 points and contributed five during a 9-0 run to open the second half.

"It's just me growing as a player," he said. "I feel like every game I'm getting better and better. I feel more comfortable."

Erick Green, the nation's leading scorer, led Virginia Tech with 29 points, but aside from Green and forward Cadarian Raines, not many Hokies contributed. Raines added 14 points. The rest of Tech's players managed just 12 points as Tech lost its fifth straight game.

"I feel like it was 'Shawshank Redemption,'" Virginia Tech coach James Johnson said. "I love that movie and every time it's on, I watch it. And I see the same thing. And I know you guys hear the same thing. It was a hard-fought game tonight and we just didn't make the plays to win."

The Terrapins (17-6, 5-5 ACC) led 46-37 with 10:47 left after an Alex Len dunk, but the Hokies rallied to cut the lead to two on a Green 3-pointer with 8:49 left.

Maryland answered every Virginia Tech charge the rest of the way. The Hokies got within one with 1:27 left after a Jarell Eddie rebound led to a transition jumper for Green, who knocked it down to cut the Terrapins' lead to 54-53.

Len drew contact from Raines on Maryland's next possession, then hit two free throws to give Maryland a 56-53 lead with 58 seconds left.

Robert Brown missed a shot on the Hokies' next possession, and two Nick Faust free throws with 28 seconds left pushed Maryland's lead to five, putting the game away.

"I thought we started both halves really well and then we weren't very good in stretches," Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. "We missed a lot of free throws, but in the end we made five in a row -- Alex, Nick and Seth.

"I thought our defense was terrific. We did a great job on Eddie and Brown and we held Green to 29 on 23 shots, so we did a nice job on him too, I thought. It's a good win, a good win. We needed it."

Eddie and Brown combined for four points on 2-of-17 shooting from the floor.

Len, Maryland's leading scorer, finished with 10 points and five rebounds.

NOTES: Virginia Tech guard Marquis Rankin missed the game with the flu. ... Green was on the watch list for the Bob Cousy Award, given to the nation's top point guard, but when the finalists were announced Thursday, he was not selected one of the 12 still in the running for the honor. ... In the last meeting, a 94-71 Maryland rout of the Hokies in College Park, Allen and Layman broke the 20-point mark, the only time two freshmen have scored 20 in the same game in program history.
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