ATLANTA (AP) (Jan. 15) – Shaun Fein scored 17 points for Georgia Tech, including two critical free throws with 53 seconds remaining, and No. 18 Maryland couldn’t get off a shot at the end, falling to the Yellow Jackets 69-68 Saturday night.
|Georgia Tech’s Alvin Jones, center, and Maryland’s Steven Blake. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)|
Juan Dixon scored a career-high 31 points and blocked a shot by Fein with about 15 seconds left. Maryland got the ball back to Dixon, who drove in the lane but had the ball knocked away by a horde of defenders as the clock ran out.
Maryland (11-5) dropped to 0-3 in the Atlantic Coast Conference for the first time since 1995-96, which also was the last season the Terrapins lost to Tech (8-7, 1-2). The Yellow Jackets snapped a seven-game losing streak in the series and three-game skid this season.
For Tech, it also was the first victory of the year over a ranked opponent after losing its first four tries.
Fein, who was 1-for-11 from the field in Tech’s first two ACC games, hit a couple of 3-pointers late in the first half to cut Maryland’s lead to 39-35 at the break.
The Yellow Jackets started the second half with a 12-2 run, going ahead for good when Jason Collier tipped in a missed shot with 17:18 remaining.
Maryland coach Gary Williams tried frantically to keep his team in the game, but used up his timeouts with more than eight minutes remaining.
|Maryland’s Mike Mardesich and Georgia Tech’s Jason Collier battle for a rebound. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)|
The Terps closed to 67-65 when Terence Morris was fouled on a 3-pointer and hit all three shots from the line with 1:01 left.
Fein was fouled in the backcourt trying to bring the ball up and made both free throws to give Tech a little breathing room. It proved to be crucial when Danny Miller hit a trey with 44 seconds left.
The Yellow Jackets, after making only 5-of-12 free throws in the first half, made 11-of-12 in the second.
Maryland had not lost to the Yellow Jackets since Jan. 3, 1996, winning 91-60 in Atlanta a year ago. Tech committed a staggering 51 turnovers in the two meetings last season and had 21 Saturday night, but this time managed to overcome its sloppiness with the ball.
Maryland started out like it was going to blow away the Yellow Jackets again. After Tech scored the first basket of the game, the Terps broke loose on a 16-3 spurt to build an 11-point lead.
Although the Jackets weathered the storm, Maryland still led 35-24 after Dixon’s baseline jumper with 5:06 remaining in the half. But Fein’s two 3s highlighted an 11-4 run that cut the gap to four at halftime.