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Jackets come up short against Terps
Georgia Tech guard Iman Shumpert (1) drives the lane and is fouled by Maryland guard Greivis Vasquez (21) during the first half Sunday in Atlanta. - photo by Stanley Leary

ATLANTA — Lewis Clinch had just the shot he wanted, the one that would finally give Georgia Tech a win over Maryland.

It came up a little short.

Make it eight in a row for the Terrapins.

Greivis Vasquez scored 19 points and Maryland held on at the buzzer for another win over the Yellow Jackets, 57-56 Sunday night. Georgia Tech hasn't beaten its Atlantic Coast Conference rival since the 2003-04 season.

"It got kind of hectic," Maryland's Cliff Tucker said, clearly relieved. "Balls were flying everywhere."

After Maryland's Eric Hayes missed the first free throw of a 1-and-1 with 16.7 seconds left, Georgia Tech had two shots at the win. Clinch missed on a pull-up jumper in the lane, but teammate Iman Shumpert chased down the long rebound in the corner and managed to get off a 3-pointer. The shot was a little long, bouncing high off the rim as the horn sounded.

"I thought we won that down the stretch with our toughness," Maryland coach Gary Williams said. "Even though we didn't convert everything that I thought we could, it was enough. A game like that, on the road, it's going to be tough."

The Terps (15-8, 4-5) won their first conference road game of the season after losing the first four. The Yellow Jackets (10-12, 1-8) committed 24 turnovers, a virtual repeat of their sloppy loss at Maryland last month.

Still, Georgia Tech had a chance to win.

"I had a great shot," said Clinch, whose final miss left him 1-for-11 on the night. "I practice that shot all the time. I know I can hit that shot, but it was a little short. As a senior, I'm really letting my team down. I've got to play better."

The Terps won the first matchup with Georgia Tech, 68-61, benefiting from a season-high 28 turnovers by the Yellow Jackets. Maryland came out on top in that game despite shooting only 32 percent from field, including 5 of 26 from 3-point range, and getting dominated on the boards, 49-39.

Georgia Tech wasn't much better at taking care of the ball in the rematch, turning it over 12 times in each half to hand Maryland 21 points. The Terps shot 36 percent (19 of 53) — again, good enough to win. Hayes chipped in with 15 points.

The Yellow Jackets lost for the fifth time when holding an opponent to less than 40 percent shooting from the field.

"I'm not sure I've been around a team that plays so hard defensively and has nothing to show for it," Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt said. "I feel really bad for them."

Williams had no complaints about his team's defensive effort, either. Shumpert led the Yellow Jackets with 13 points and Zachery Peacock was the only other player to reach double figures with 11.

"We have to use our defense to help us win," Williams said. "We haven't been a great shooting team, yet, and hopefully that will pick up. But we are halfway through the ACC, so it might have to be our defense this year. Whatever it takes to win. It would be nice for us to shoot a little better than this, but we have our defense every night."

Maryland built a 10-point lead in the first half, but Lance Storrs hit two straight 3-pointers from the corner and Georgia Tech was only down 31-29 at the break.

The second half was close all the way, with five ties and seven lead changes. The biggest margin over the final 20 minutes was four points.

Peacock gave Georgia Tech its final lead, hitting a jumper that made it 49-47 with 6:26 left. But Maryland scored six points in a row as the Yellow Jackets committed turnovers on three straight offensive possessions.

Vasquez hit a pair of free throws with 57 seconds remaining that accounted for the winning margin.

"Greivis was a great leader down the stretch," Williams said. "He got us into our sets, we ran some good stuff and scored enough points."

Maryland had to go without sophomore guard Adrian Bowie, one of three Terps averaging in double figures. He was stricken with the flu, had a 102-degree fever and made only one brief appearance on the court.

"He was shivering over on the bench," Williams said. "He just didn't have any legs."

Peacock made two foul shots with 18 seconds left to give Georgia Tech a chance, and Hayes' missed free throw put the home team in position to win it.

Clinch had the best opportunity, but his jumper from just inside the foul line was a little short. With Hewitt screaming for a timeout, Shumpert took the last shot before the officials looked toward the bench.

"I thought it was in," Clinch said of his attempt, by far the better of those last two shots. "I couldn't believe it didn't go it. I practice that shot so much. That's what we wanted."

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