Maryland's long-range shooting delivers win

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Virginia Tech entered Saturday's ACC opener at Maryland knowing it could either try to pack in the post against the Terrapins' superior size or try to defend the perimeter.
But the Hokies couldn't do both.
They chose the former, and the Terrapins made them pay with kickouts and big-time 3-pointers from an unlikely source. Freshman Jake Layman, who entered the game averaging 3.2 points per game, scored 18 first-half points on his way to a career-high 20 and led the Terrapins to a 94-71 rout of the undermanned Hokies at the Comcast Center.
Layman matched his previous career best of 10 points by the third media timeout of the first half. He scored seven points in the first four minutes and hit two 3-pointers during a key run late in the half as the Terrapins broke the game open. After hitting five 3-pointers in his first 13 games, he hit four in the first half Saturday.
"We knew they were going to double on the post," Layman said. "It just worked out great for us."
Freshman Seth Allen came off the bench to score a team-high 21 points for Maryland (13-1), which tied a season-high with 10 3-pointers. Alex Len added 16 points and nine rebounds.
Since losing its opener to Kentucky early in November, Maryland has won 13 consecutive games and won its conference opener for the first time since beating Florida State in the 2009-10 season.
"This game is going to give a lot of guys confidence," Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. "It's going to be fun to watch this team just continue to get better."
Virginia Tech (9-5) lost its third straight game by double digits and has dropped five of seven since a 7-0 start that included a home win over a ranked Oklahoma State team.
"Tough one tonight," Tech coach James Johnson said. "Going into ACC play, we need to have more guys playing more consistently, and we just haven't had that the last couple of games. We didn't have it tonight."
Layman's first-half barrage allowed the Terrapins to build a 53-37 lead at halftime. The Terps shot 55.6 percent in the first half when they built their lead, with much of the damage coming from the outside. Layman was 5-for-29 from 3-point range entering the game.
"We knew he could shoot the ball," Johnson said. "He just hadn't been shooting it great up until this point. He did a good job of being confident and knocking down shots early to get them confident. We certainly knew about him. He had a really good game for them."
Erick Green, the nation's second leading scorer, led the Hokies with 28 points.
Maryland jumped to a 13-4 lead, a run capped by Layman's tip dunk. The Hokies hung around for much of the first half despite Maryland's hot shooting, pulling to within 34-31 on Green's basket with 5:55 left.
But Maryland ripped off a 15-2 run to reestablish control. Layman hit two 3-pointers during the spurt and Seth Allen added another.
The Terrapins extended their lead to 22 points early in the second half and the Hokies pulled no closer than 11 points after that.
Virginia Tech's Joey Van Zegeren, who made his first start this season, tied his career-high with 10 points. Cadarian Raines finished with a career-high 13 rebounds.
Van Zegeren started in place of C.J. Barksdale, who had started all 13 of Tech's games this season. Barksdale didn't play Saturday because Johnson wasn't happy with his level of effort in practice and in games. Barksdale's absence left the Hokies with just six scholarship players.
Notes: Maryland's 12-1 mark to enter ACC play was its best such mark since the 1998-99 season, when it was 13-1. ... Virginia Tech played its fourth straight game without freshman forward Marshall Wood, who broke his left foot against Georgia Southern on Dec. 15. Wood said Thursday he will be out for at least two more weeks. ... Maryland's 13-game winning streak tied the second longest in school history. The Terrapins won a school-record 14 straight during the 1931-32 season. They could match that with a victory at home on Wednesday against Florida State. ... Maryland's Nick Faust left the game because of a shoulder injury and did not return.