ATLANTA (AP) — With Robert Carter Jr. posting a double-double and Brandon Reed adding big points off the bench, Georgia Tech reached 70 points for the first time since January.
“It seemed like a miracle,” said coach Brian Gregory.
Carter had 19 points and 10 rebounds, Reed led the backups with 17 points and Georgia Tech beat Maryland 78-68 on Wednesday night, extending the Terrapins’ road struggles.
Georgia Tech (15-12, 5-10 Atlantic Coast Conference) hadn’t reached 70 points since an 82-62 win over Wake Forest on Jan. 26.
Carter, a freshman, posted his fourth double-double of the season. Daniel Miller had 16 points and nine rebounds while making each of his 12 free throws.
“That was the best 40 minutes we’ve played all year in terms of consistent performance in every key area,” Gregory said, adding Miller “has been playing pretty doggone good.”
“The thing that’s most impressive to me is that he got to the line 12 times,” Gregory said. “That meant he was aggressive around the basket. If we can do that, it takes us to a whole new level as a team.”
Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said Miller “got the best of” the Terrapins’ 7-foot-1 center Alex Len.
“I thought he got pushed around all night,” said Turgeon of Len.
Turgeon also was impressed with Carter.
“Carter was outstanding,” Turgeon said. “We couldn’t guard him. We had no one to guard Robert Carter.”
The loss left Maryland 1-6 in road ACC games. Maryland (19-9, 7-8) is 15-2 at home, but its latest road loss was a damaging blow to its NCAA tournament hopes.
Turgeon said he had no explanation for his team’s inability to win away from home.
“Home and road, I don’t know,” Turgeon said. “If I had an answer, I would fix it. I do think we tried hard. We just didn’t play very smart.”
Dez Wells led Maryland with 15 points. Len had 13 points and nine rebounds.
The Terrapins play two of their last three regular-season games on the road, starting with Saturday’s visit to Wake Forest.
Len said the Terrapins can’t dwell on how the loss hurt their postseason outlook.
“We can’t think about it now,” Len said. “We’ve got Wake Forest on Saturday. We’ve got to move on.”
Georgia Tech made a strong recovery after losing its last two games, each by double digits, to North Carolina and Virginia. The 82-54 loss at Virginia on Sunday was perhaps the biggest blow to the players’ pride.
“After losing like we did this weekend, being able to come back and be ready to go, I was proud,” Miller said.
The Yellow Jackets need one more win to lock up a winning record in their second season with Gregory.
Gregory said the turnaround from the ugly loss at Virginia was important for the program.
“Our guys responded,” Gregory said. “I’m just really proud. Our guys showed a lot of character bouncing back from Sunday. When you do that, you can just continue to build the program.”
The Yellow Jackets made 16 of 28 shots from the field (57.1 percent) in the first half and finished at 51 percent for the game with 22 assists on their 26 field goals.
“We lost because we didn’t defend,” said Maryland’s Seth Allen, who had 12 points. “You’re not going to win a game on the road letting a team shoot 51 percent.”
A 3-pointer by Carter pushed Georgia Tech’s lead to 10 points at 34-24, but the Terrapins answered with a 9-0 run to cut the lead to 34-33.
Georgia Tech closed the first half with baskets by Reed and Carter to lead 38-33.
Georgia Tech pushed its lead back to 10 points four times in the opening minutes of the second half before finally extending the advantage. Carter’s two free throws, followed by his quick hook shot, gave Georgia Tech a 56-42 lead.
The Yellow Jackets kept the lead in double figures until a basket by Wells with 1:51 remaining cut Maryland’s deficit to 71-62. Georgia Tech had a quick answer with Mfon Udofia’s layup.
Miller blocked a shot by Len early in the game, giving him 200 career blocks. He finished with three blocks for the game.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)