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Feb 6, 2003

Box Score?|?Photo Gallery | Video Highlights and Postgame Comments

AP Sports Writer

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Virginia won its first Atlantic Coast Conference road game of the season in improbable fashion – and at an unlikely location.

Reserve Devin Smith scored 17 points and keyed a 16-0 second-half run as the Cavaliers erased a 12-point deficit and stunned No. 8 Maryland 86-78 Thursday night.

Down 65-53 with 12:50 remaining, Virginia appeared headed to its 10th straight defeat at Maryland. But Smith sparked the shocking comeback, twice hitting successive 3-pointers to spark the Cavaliers to their second road win of the year – the first in the ACC after four defeats.

“We beat an excellent team in a very tough place to play,” Virginia coach Pete Gillen said. “It was a special victory.”

Virginia was winless at Maryland since 1993, losing the last five games by an average of 18 points.

Travis Watson had 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Cavaliers (13-7, 4-4).

Ryan Randle scored 17 for the Terrapins (14-5, 6-2), whose five-game winning streak ended in surprise fashion. The defending NCAA champions had won 14 straight ACC home games and were 11-1 at home.

“This boosts our confidence a lot. We came in here expecting to win, even though nobody expected us to. It was a very big win.”

“It looked like tonight we thought we could win without our A-game,” Maryland coach Gary Williams said. “I thought Virginia worked harder than we did. We let them come back because we didn’t cover anyone.”

Drew Nicholas and Steve Blake became the 38th and 39th players in Maryland history to surpass 1,000 career points. Nicholas scored 20 for a 1,007 total and Blake had 12 for 1,001 points.

The Cavaliers trailed by 12 before Smith hit two straight from beyond the arc. Maryland then went up by 10 before Virginia began its decisive run.

Watson scored inside and Smith hit two straight 3-pointers before Jermaine Harper put the Cavaliers up for good with a 3. Elton Brown then made a layup, and Harper capped the burst with a 3-pointer to make it 75-69 with 3:56 to go.

“We’ve been playing good defense all year, but not tonight,” Williams said.

Jermaine Harper celebrates the Cavs’ upset victory in College Park, Md.



The Cavaliers shot 49 percent, including 12-for-22 from 3-point range, against a team that was leading the nation in field goal percentage defense.

“It was just our night, hitting 3s like that,” Gillen said. “I think poise is a good word. We played with courage and we played to win.”

Down 49-47 at halftime, the Terrapins used the inside play of Randle to regain the lead. The senior center scored on a follow, then made a layup before Tahj Holden scored on a tip-in. Randle capped the 8-0 spurt with a jumper in the lane to put Maryland up by six.

After going 16-for-29 from the field before halftime, Virginia missed its first five shots of the second half. Smith ended the drought, but Randle answered with a layup and Nicholas made a three-point play to make it 58-49.

Minutes later, Blake reached the 1,000-point plateau with a 3-pointer and Holden followed with a driving layup for a 65-53 lead.

Smith then brought the Cavaliers back.

“This boosts our confidence a lot,” Smith said. “We came in here expecting to win, even though nobody expected us to. It was a very big win.”

Virginia played well early, getting four points apiece from Watson and Jason Clark in a 14-5 run that made it 17-11. Minutes later, the Cavaliers reeled off 10 straight points to go up 28-16.

Williams called a timeout in the midst of the run, seeking to settle a defense that permitted Virginia to make 10 of its first 14 shots.

But the trend continued when Smith hit a 3-pointer to make it 33-20.

Maryland then went on a 17-2 run to temporarily regain the lead. Nicholas capped the surge with a 3-pointer, giving him exactly 1,000 points for his career.

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