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Tech men drop a close one to Maryland

POSTED: February 13, 2008 5:03 a.m.
/The Associated Press

Georgia Tech's Alade Aminu makes a layup against Maryland on Saturday during the second half in Atlanta.

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ATLANTA — If it had been earlier in the season, Maryland’s Bambale Osby wouldn’t have gotten a chance to be a hero.

Osby scored 18 points, including two key free throws with 16.9 seconds left and Landon Milbourne added 16 points to lead five Maryland players in double figures and the Terrapins beat Georgia Tech 88-86 Saturday in an Atlantic Coast Conference game, ending the Yellow Jackets’ three-game winning streak.

Maryland (14-8, 4-3 ACC), winning its fourth in five games and eight of 10, also got 14 points from James Gist and Eric Hayes and Greivis Vasquez added 13 points.

Georgia Tech (10-10, 3-4) was led by Zach Peacock who had 18 points. Matt Causey added 12 and D’Andre Bell had 11.

Tech got within 85-82 on six straight points by Peacock with 1:05 left, then got the ball back when the Yellow Jackets’ Alade Aminu blocked a layup by Vazquez with 35 seconds remaining.

Anthony Morrow badly missed a 3-point attempt to tie it with 19 seconds left and Osby made a pair of free throws — his only points of the second half — for an 87-82 lead with 16.9 seconds left.

"If this was December, I would have taken him out and put a different guy in there to hopefully get him fouled while sitting Bambale," said Maryland coach Gary Williams.

"But that’s where he’s come with the free throws," added Williams. Entering the game Osby was 73-of-111, a 65.8 percentage. In this game, he connected on 8-of-9.

"Every day before practice we spent 15-20 minutes shooting free throws. That helps on focusing and concentrating," said Osby, who showed that it paid off. "It’s a matter of breathing, getting your oxygen back," he said of his pausing before he shoots the free throws.

Tech had another slim chance when Jeremis Smith scored a basket to get within 87-84 with 8.7 seconds left and Vazquez missed two free throws with 7.7 seconds left.

Tech’s Causey was fouled with 2.5 seconds left and made the first to make it 87-85. He tried to miss the second on purpose but it hit the backboard and went in to make it 87-86. Vazquez was fouled and made one of two with a second left for the final of 88-86.

"We were tough enough down the stretch to get the win, and that’s what counts," said Williams.

The Yellow Jackets fell behind by 12 again at the start of the second half as Gist scored five straight points for a 53-41 lead. But Tech managed to get back in it and trailed by only 65-63 with 12:11 left on a basket by Causey, but never got closer than six until the final minute.

"The story of the game was that we just couldn’t get enough stops," said Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt.

"We scored enough points. When you score 86 points, you expect to win most of the time, but we just didn’t do enough defensively," he said.

Maryland leads the series 34-33 between the two schools, including six straight.

The Terrapins jumped out to a 9-0 lead and extended its biggest lead of the first half to 12 points at 36-24 before leading at intermission 50-41. Tech never got closer than four points in the opening half at 23-19 on a basket by Gani Lawal.

Osby, one of four Terrapins averaging in double figures for the season, had 16 first-half points, exceeding his season-average of 11.5 points and eight rebounds. Milbourne added nine points.

Peacock had eight points off the bench to lead the Yellow Jackets in the opening 20 minutes.



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