COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Two teams heading in opposite directions, in more ways than one, tangled in Comcast Center, 20th ranked Pittsburgh coming away with an 83-79 victory over Maryland in the second and probably last meeting of the two teams as ACC rivals. Guard Lamar Patterson scored 28 points and the Panthers (18-2, 6-1 in the ACC) rolled to their eighth victory in the last nine games. Maryland (11-9, 3-4) fell for the fourth time in the last five games. The Terrapins will be leaving the ACC after this season, and are in danger of missing the NCAA Tournament for a fourth straight year. Guard Dez Wells led the Terrapins with 19 points, but Maryland was no match for a huge edge by the Panthers at the free throw line, where they connected on 32-of-47 attempts (68.1 percent). Pittsburgh missed nine of the last 14 attempts to keep the door ajar for the Terrapins, who scrapped back after trailing by 13 points midway through the second half. The Terrapins got the deficit down to five on two occasions in the final 1:19, but couldn't get closer until 5.4 seconds remained, when forward Evan Smotrycz hit a baseline 3-pointer for the final points. Talib Zanna had 16 points and seven boards to share high rebound honors with Patterson. The Panthers, in their first season in the ACC, had a 37-28 rebounding advantage, and appear ready for a big conference test Monday at home against Duke. Maryland, which got 18 points from forward Jake Layman, hosts Miami on Wednesday. Pittsburgh used a 9-0 run late in the first half to build a 42-37 halftime edge. Patterson led the way with 13 points in the half, and was 7-of-8 at the free throw line, where the Panthers made 16-of-17. The Terrapins hit five of their first seven shots and enjoyed a 9-2 lead in the opening two-and-a-half minutes. But the Panthers clawed back. When forward Michael Young spun inside for a reverse lay-up at 5:05 to put Pittsburgh ahead, 29-28, the Panthers wouldn't trail again, beginning that 9-0 run. Guard James Robinson scored in transition and Patterson got a fastbreak score after a steal. When guard Cameron Wright got an old-fashioned three-point play, Pitt led, 36-28, at 3:47. Swingman Dez Wells led Maryland with eight first half points, but the Terps never got closer than three points the rest of the half. NOTES: This was the first meeting in College Park between these two teams since 1980, but it also might have been the last for Maryland and Pittsburgh as ACC rivals. ... Maryland won that meeting in 1980, 95-88, and the Terrapins coach that night, Lefty Driesell, was courtside tonight for this game. ... The struggling Terrapins might be running out of chances to make a case for an at-large NCAA Tournament bid. This was one of only six games left against Top 50 RPI teams. Maryland is 1-6 in such games. ... Coach Jamie Dixon moved into a tie for fifth-place on the list of best coaching starts after 11 years. Dixon is 280-88 record, equaling Everett Case's 11-year total (1947-57) of 280 at North Carolina State. ... Dixon and his Panthers' coaching staff and Mark Turgeon and his Terrapins staff wore sneakers in support of the Coaches vs. Cancer initiative.
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