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Yellow Jackets Sting Terrapins in ACC Tourney

March 12, 2010

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GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Iman Shumpert scored 14 points and made the key defensive play that lifted Georgia Tech past No. 19 Maryland 69-64 on Friday night in the Atlantic Coast Conference quarterfinals.

Maurice Miller added 13 points for the seventh-seeded Yellow Jackets (21-11). They blew most of a 19-point lead and had 25 turnovers, but for the second straight night, they did just enough to advance–this time, to the semifinals for the first time since 2005. Tech will next face NC State on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

Greivis Vasquez had 17 points on 6 of 21 shooting for the second-seeded seed Terrapins (23-8). They had the ball and were within one possession of the lead six times in the final 4:30 and didn’t score on any of those possessions.

The last chance came when Maryland trailed 67-64 and Vasquez pulled up for a long 3-pointer with about 6 seconds left. Shumpert knocked the ball from his hands, took off downcourt and was fouled. He and Derrick Favors each hit one free throw in the final 3.7 seconds to seal the Yellow Jackets’ first victory in the series since 2004.

Favors finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds and Zachery Peacock added 11 points for the Yellow Jackets, who sent an already jumbled ACC bracket into further disarray. With Friday night’s upset of No. 3 seed Florida State, five of the top six seeds failed to make it out of the quarterfinals.

Landon Milbourne had 15 points and Eric Hayes added 14 for Maryland. The ACC’s hottest team and its regular-season co-champion nearly staged one of the biggest second-half rallies in the storied history of its league tournament, but ultimately had its seven-game winning streak snapped.

Gani Lawal finished with 11 rebounds for Georgia Tech, which held a 38-30 rebounding advantage and shot nearly 56 percent for the game to Maryland’s 37 percent–but the Terrapins did attempt 24 more shots than did the Yellow Jackets.

The Terrapins, who trailed 41-22 in the final minute of the first half, got themselves back in the game with a 22-5 run. Adrian Bowie started the rally with a three-point play with 1.7 seconds left before the break, and capped it with a layup that made it 46-44 with 13:41 to play. In between, Maryland forced 10 turnovers on Georgia Tech’s first 13 possessions of the half.

This matchup featured all three of the ACC’s major award winners, with player of the year Vasquez and coach of the year Gary Williams of Maryland going up against the Yellow Jackets’ rookie of the year, Favors–whose best game of his season came in his only previous meeting with the Terrapins.

He had 21 points and 18 rebounds, both season highs, in a 76-74 loss to Maryland in which the outcome wasn’t certain until Cliff Tucker hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer that came moments after Favors put Georgia Tech up by one.

For a while, it looked as if Favors and his teammates had decided this one much sooner, shooting nearly 62 percent in the first half and using a 34-12 run to push their lead well into double figures.

Favors capped a personal run of six straight points for Georgia Tech with a short jumper that made it 26-15, the first double-digit lead, and it grew to 38-19 when Glen Rice Jr. stole the ball from Hayes and dunked with 2 1/2 minutes left.


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