COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Maryland made up for a ghastly 30 minutes of basketball by finally being gracious enough to accept the generosity of bumbling Georgia Tech.
Eric Hayes scored a season-high 17 points, Greivis Vasquez had 16, and the Terrapins took advantage of 28 turnovers by the Yellow Jackets to pull out a 68-61 victory Saturday.
Maryland shot only 32 percent, went 5-for-26 from 3-point range and was outrebounded 49-39. But the Terrapins (12-3, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) won because they outplayed Georgia Tech when it counted most.
“Give Maryland credit,” Yellow Jackets coach Paul Hewitt said. “Coming down the stretch when the game was right there to be had by both teams, they were a little bit stronger than us.”
And far more careful with the basketball.
“They turned the ball over for us and we were getting points off that,” Hayes said. “It was definitely one of the keys to the game.”
After taking a 50-40 lead with 9:44 left, the Yellow Jackets went 4-for-13 from the field with five turnovers.
“We really didn’t give ourselves a chance to win,” Hewitt said.
Georgia Tech (9-6, 0-2) lost to Virginia in overtime in its ACC opener before falling short against Maryland.
“That’s who we are,” Hewitt said. “Right now we’re not good enough to win those type of games.”
Maryland scored the game’s final seven points to earn its seventh straight win over Georgia Tech, a streak that began in January 2005. The victory also helped erase the sting of a 1-point home loss to Morgan State on Wednesday night.
Two free throws by Adrian Bowie put the Terrapins up 63-61 with 57 seconds remaining, and Vasquez added two foul shots with 17 seconds to go. Another free throw by Hayes with six seconds left clinched it.
“We’re going to have games where we don’t shoot well,” Maryland coach Gary Williams said. “Finding ways to win is the key.”
Alade Aminu had 14 points and a career-high 17 rebounds for the Yellow Jackets, and Gani Lawal had 14 points and 10 rebounds.
“We just got outworked in the last few minutes,” Lawal said. “They just wanted it more.”
Down by 10, the Terrapins used a 15-2 run to take their first lead since 4-3. A three-point play by Vasquez made it 52-47, and Hayes followed with successive 3-pointers before capping the surge with a driving layup.
Although Georgia Tech moved back in front, the momentum had shifted.
After a three-point play by Lewis Clinch put the Yellow Jackets up 42-33 with 16 minutes left, Hayes sank a 3-pointer and Sean Mosley added a layup. But the Terrapins made only one basket over the next six minutes, and a fadeaway jumper by Clinch gave Georgia Tech its biggest lead.
But the Yellow Jackets couldn’t hold on, mostly because they couldn’t maintain a grip on the basketball.
Georgia Tech led 31-26 at halftime despite committing 18 turnovers. That’s because the Terrapins went 10-for-40 from the floor (25 percent) and missed their first 13 attempts from beyond the arc.
David Neal was 1-for-8, including 0-for-5 from 3-point range, and Hayes was 1-for-7.
“We can shoot the ball, obviously, much better than that,” Williams said. “It might have been a hangover from the Morgan State game. (But) I thought we played really well down the stretch when we had to win the game.”