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No. 21 Maryland falls from unbeaten ranks, loses to No. 7 Virginia 76-65

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COLLEGE PARK, Maryland — Playing as a Top 25 team for the first time under coach Mark Turgeon, 21st-ranked Maryland ran into an old foe that administered a lesson or two in the art of playing defense.

The Terrapins shot 40 percent from the field, collected only three offensive rebounds and absorbed their first loss of the season, falling to No. 7 Virginia 76-65 Wednesday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

"I thought Virginia was terrific from the beginning to the end," Turgeon said. "Their defense is what Virginia is about. Their execution was better. Our defense wasn't good enough to beat a team like Virginia."

The Cavaliers (8-0) and Terrapins (7-1) played twice a year for decades when both were in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Now in its first year as a member of the Big Ten, Maryland trailed throughout against its longtime rival.

"We didn't quit. We kept trying to respond," Turgeon said. "I think we'll be a better team because we played Virginia tonight."

The Cavaliers, who came in ranked No. 1 in the nation in scoring defense, held Maryland 13 points below its season average.

"Nothing flashy, but it's our way," Virginia coach Tony Bennett said. "Our chance to be good is for us to be as close to great defensively as we can, and solid and sound offensively. That's our formula."

Ranked in the Top 25 for the first time since the 2009-10 season, Maryland got 16 points from freshman Melo Trimble and 14 from Jake Layman. Trimble went 2 for 9 from the field but made 12 of 14 free throws.

"I thought Melo was terrific. I mean, it was 2-on-1 every time he had the ball," Turgeon said. "He got to the foul line 14 times against a team that was just trying to stop him. He just didn't have a lot of help on that end."

Malcolm Brogdon scored 18 points and Justin Anderson added 16 for the Cavaliers, who lost Darion Atkins (back) and Anderson (ankle) to injuries during the game. Virginia shot a solid 53 percent, committed only seven turnovers and finished with a 34-22 rebounding advantage.

"Our defense just wasn't where it needed to be tonight," Layman said.

The Terrapins trailed 42-34 early in the second half before Anderson was fouled on a 3-point try and made two free throws to launch a 10-5 spurt that put the Cavaliers up 52-39.

After Maryland closed to 54-44, Anthony Gill sank two free throws, Marial Shayok drilled a 3 and Gill made a layup for a 17-point cushion with 7:48 left.

That all but assured the Cavaliers their first 8-0 start since the 2003-04 season.

PHOTO: Maryland guard/forward Dez Wells, standing, watches during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Virginia, Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014, in College Park, Md. Wells was injured in a previous game. Virginia won 76-65. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Maryland guard/forward Dez Wells, standing, watches during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Virginia, Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014, in College Park, Md. Wells was injured in a previous game. Virginia won 76-65. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Anderson scored eight of his 11 first-half points in the final 5 minutes to help the Cavaliers go up 37-29 at the break.

Virginia held Maryland to a pair of baskets over the first 8 minutes while building a 14-4 lead.

The Terrapins whittled the margin to five before Anderson took over. His alley-oop dunk made it 31-21, and he added a layup to give Virginia its biggest lead at 35-23.

Maryland went 7 for 19 from the field but stayed in striking distance with a 12-for-15 performance at the foul line, including 6 for 6 by Trimble.


TIP-INS

Virginia: The Cavaliers are 75-107 against Maryland in a series that dates back to 1912-13. This was the first time since Jan. 5, 1953, that the teams met in a non-league game.

Maryland: The Terrapins were without injured starters Dez Wells (broken wrist) and Evan Smotrycz (sprained ankle). Wells is averaging 16.2 points and Smotrycz scored 12 points in two games after missing five games with a broken left foot.

UP NEXT

Virginia visits Virginia Commonwealth on Saturday.

Maryland hosts Winthrop on Saturday.

FOUL MOOD

The Cavaliers committed 28 fouls and had four players with four apiece.

"I was thankful for the depth that we had," said Bennett, who had seven players with at least 22 minutes.

Maryland went 27 for 36 at the line.

"It's hard to do what we did," Turgeon said. "Nobody's going to shoot that many free throws on Virginia the rest of the year."

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