Sophomore scores career-high 24 points to quell Maryland crowd

Fans of the Maryland Terrapins, came to Comcast Center Thursday night to razz Malcolm Delaney and Jeff Allen. They left cursing Erick Green.

With both the ire of the fans and the attention of the Terps' defense focused on Virginia Tech standouts Delaney and Allen, Green scored a career-high 24 points and made off with four steals, propelling the Hokies to a 74-57 victory before 17,950.

In a season of full of excruciating losses to quality teams, Maryland (11-7, 1-3) suffered its most decisive defeat of the season, a major blow to its NCAA Tournament hopes, while Tech (12-5, 3-2) enjoyed it's most satisfying victory, after a controversial two days.

Earlier in the week, Delaney had called Maryland fans "the worst ever," and his coach, Seth Greenberg, echoed the sentiment, calling Comcast fans "abusive." Two years ago, in a loss at College Park, Allen flashed an obscene gesture at the Terps' cheering section.

Clemson at Maryland
When » Saturday, 2:30 p.m.
Where » Comcast Center, College Park
TV/Radio » ACC Network/980 AM
Coming off a quick turnaround from Thursday's game with Virginia Tech, Maryland (11-7, 1-3) faces rested Clemson (13-5, 2-2), which last played on Tuesday night, losing at North Carolina. The Tigers have won two of their last four trips to Comcast and are led by seniors Demontez Stitt (13.3 ppg), a 6-2 guard, and Jerai Grant (12.3 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 2.4 bpg), a 6-8 DeMatha graduate.

"They do what they do for their team," said Delaney, a Baltimore native. "I don't have any love lost for them."

Delaney (19 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds), a senior guard, did his part, answering the boos of the Maryland fans with waves after several of his baskets.

Allen (7 points, 10 rebounds), a senior forward from Washington, had a quiet game on offense, but was stellar at the other end in the Hokies' zone defense, playing Maryland's top scorer, Jordan Williams (11 points, 11 rebounds), to a stalemate.

"With the zone, we tried to make other people beat us," said Greenberg. "[Williams] is so good. He's so big. He catches everything. But we did a nice job of swarming. First and foremost, we wanted to try to take away him."

One thing Tech took out early was the crowd. Senior forward Terrell Bell (7 rebounds) scored his lone basket three seconds after the opening tip. The next time down the floor, Allen drilled a three.

Green, a 6-4 sophomore guard, who played at Winchester's Millbrook High before transferring to Paul VI for his senior year, got involved early, hitting a pull-up jumper and a layup sandwiched around a Delaney three-pointer, as Tech took a 12-0 lead.

The quick start quieted the Maryland fans and took the heat off Delaney and Allen.

"It was a hostile environment and that's just how it is. We weren't worried about the fans at all," said Green. "The crowd was crazy and it really was a team win. It was probably the hardest place I've ever played in."

Since a foot injury ended the season of senior guard Dorenzo Hudson, Green has stepped into a larger role and posted double figures in nine straight games. His previous career high was 17 points. By the time he exceeded that Thursday, there were more than 14 minutes left. Green hit 12 of 16 shots from the floor, a few of them silencers to quell Terp rallies.

"Erick Green had a monster game, in terms of playing with great poise," said Greenberg.

Green's biggest baskets came in response to a spree by Maryland guard Cliff Tucker, who scored 11 of his 13 points in a 2-minute, 20-second span of the second half. Tucker's streak, which included a trio of three-pointers, sliced Tech's lead from 15 points to eight, 61-53.

But Green helped quell the run with a reverse layup. Moments later, he scored on a breakaway off a turnover as the Hokies resumed control, 64-53, with 6:56 left.

It was a reversal from a week ago, when Tech withered at North Carolina, surrendering a 16-point lead in a 64-61 loss.

"We just kept the intensity up, played good defense," said Green. "Offense worked. Everything was going well. And we kept our poise. That was the big difference from the Carolina game."

Tech had the best of it in virtually all phases. The Hokies out-rebounded the Terps, 37-30, and out-shot them 53.6 percent to 35.7 percent. It was the Terps' worst lost at Comcast Center since it opened in 2002.

"It's one thing to lose. It's another how you lose," said Gary Williams. "I'm not real happy right now."

Notes: Jordan Williams got his 12th straight double-double, tying the program record, set by Len Elmore ... The Terps' previous worst loss at Comcast came to North Carolina State in 2005, 85-69. Gary Williams' worst home loss at Maryland came in 1998 to Duke, 104-72, at Cole Field House.