Cavs Climb Atop ACC Standings With 69-65 Victory At Maryland

VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM Jason Cain and Laurynas Mikalauskas box in Maryland's Ekene Ibekwe as he looks to shoot during the first half Tuesday night. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)
VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM
Jason Cain and Laurynas Mikalauskas box in Maryland's Ekene Ibekwe as he looks to shoot during the first half Tuesday night. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)
VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM

Feb. 6, 2007

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) - J.R. Reynolds scored 23 points, and Virginia gained sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Coast Conference with its seventh straight victory, 69-65 over Maryland on Tuesday night.

Adrian Joseph had 13 points for the surprising Cavaliers (16-6, 8-2), who held on after blowing most of a 15-point lead in the second half. Reynolds made two free throws for a 68-65 lead with 11.4 seconds left, and Mike Jones missed a jumper before Tunji Soroye clinched it by making one of two free throws with 3.3 seconds remaining.

The victory moved Virginia a half-game ahead of idle Boston College. Picked to finish eighth in the ACC preseason poll, Virginia has won seven straight league games - its longest streak since an 11-game run during the 1981-82 season.

Jones led the Terrapins (17-7, 3-6) with 18 points and Greivis Vasquez had 13, all in the first half. Maryland had won nine of its last 12 games against Virginia and was 13-1 at home.

Up by 10 at halftime, the Cavaliers used a 9-4 spurt early in the second half to make it 56-41 with 13:22 to go. Sean Singletary had two baskets in the surge and Joseph added a 3-pointer.

It was 59-44 before Maryland scored nine straight points. Reynolds stemmed the run with a layup, but Jones made two free throws and added a dunk off a steal to make it 61-57 with 5:42 left.

Minutes later, D.J. Strawberry scored off an alley-oop pass from Eric Hayes to bring the Terrapins to 63-60. Joseph then missed a 3-pointer, but Soroye got the rebound and was fouled trying to shoot. His two free throws made it 65-60.

A 3-pointer by Hayes made it a 2-point game with 54 seconds remaining, and Virginia's Mamadi Diane made one of two free throws with 23.2 seconds left to put Virginia up by three.

Reynolds and Vasquez both scored 13 points in the first half, and Virginia led 41-31 at the break by holding Maryland to 36 percent shooting.

Three-point plays by Singletary, Reynolds and Diane, along with a 3-pointer by Reynolds, provided the Cavaliers with an early 16-8 lead. Maryland started 3-for-11 from the floor with four turnovers.

After Joseph sank a 3-pointer and baseline jumper to make it 32-18, the Terrapins responded with their first run of the game - a 6-0 burst that Reynolds ended with a 3-pointer from the right corner.