COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Boston University had fallen behind after blowing a 12-point lead, and after the abrupt momentum swing it seemed inevitable that Maryland would eventually pull away to another non-conference home victory.
Not this time. Instead, the Terriers displayed far more poise and depth down the stretch than the Terrapins, and the result was an 83-77 upset Saturday.
“Anytime you play against a team like Maryland, with the tradition that they have, you win and you feel good about it,” BU coach Joe Jones said. “When the season is over, we’ll reflect back. It will be great.”
The Terriers (7-5) got 25 points from D.J. Irving and 16 from Dom Morris to end a three-game losing streak. Trailing 58-57, BU used a 13-3 run to go up 70-61 with 3:44 left.
Maryland (7-5) had no response, and after the defeat, coach Mark Turgeon had no explanation for his team’s poor play.
“I don’t know what it is. I really don’t,” he said. “Ultimately it’s on me. I’ve got to figure out how to get through to them.”
Maryland had won 29 straight non-conference home games before this season, but this loss, on top of one to Oregon State last month, left the Terrapins 3-2 at Comcast Center.
“Nothing else we can do but keep working and getting better,” said Evan Smotrycz, who had 15 points and 13 rebounds.
BU was coming off a loss to Norfolk State and earlier lost to Eastern Washington and Harvard. In this one, however, the Terriers were up to the challenge against an Atlantic Coast Conference foe.
“This game gives us some confidence that we are capable of playing at this type of level,” Jones said. “This is a huge step for us.”
Dez Wells scored 18 for the Terrapins, who committed 17 turnovers and went 15 for 26 at the line. Maryland got only 18 points from its bench, including 10 by Nick Faust.
“Part of the problem is we don’t have depth,” said Turgeon, who was denied his 300th career victory. “I’ve just to play Jake (Layman) and Dez until they drop, almost. Evan got tired.”
Down 42-32 at halftime, the Terrapins got six points from Smotrycz in a 13-6 run that cut the deficit to 49-45. Morris stemmed the surge with a follow shot, but Jonathan Graham made a layup and Wells scored off an alley-oop pass to tie it at 51 with 12:25 remaining.
A 15-footer by Wells with 9:08 left put Maryland up 56-55 — its first lead since 18-17. Following an exchange of baskets, the Terriers peeled off seven straight points — the last four by Cedric Hankerson. Soon after that, two straight baskets by Morris made it 68-61.
Despite facing a team that usually excels at home, Boston U. never wilted. Maryland went into foul-mode in the closing minutes, and the Terriers patiently made their free throws.
“They shot 36 free throws to our 26 at home,” Turgeon lamented.
Irving scored 15 points on 6-for-8 shooting during a first half in which the Terrapins had as many turnovers as baskets (11).
Maryland made only two of its first 12 shots, committed four turnovers and trailed 12-5 after the first eight minutes.
A 10-2 run put the Terrapins up 18-17, but John Papale hit a pair of 3s and Morris contributed a three-point play in a 9-0 burst that gave the Terriers an eight-point cushion.
It was 31-28 before Hankerson drilled a 3-pointer and was fouled by Roddy Peters, which caused Turgeon to stomp his foot in frustration. The four-point play ignited an 11-2 run that put BU up.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)