COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Joe Harris scored 22 points, Justin Anderson added 17 and Virginia beat Maryland 80-69 Sunday to solidify its hold on third place in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The Cavaliers (17-6, 7-3) never trailed after halftime in their fourth straight win over the Terrapins (17-7, 5-6). Virginia improved to 3-4 on the road, 2/3 in the ACC.The victory gave the Cavaliers a one-game lead over idle North Carolina and got them within a half-game of Duke, which faced Boston College on Sunday night.Despite committing 16 turnovers, the Cavaliers shot 58 percent from beyond the arc (11 for 19) and finished with a 34-29 rebounding advantage. Virginia has won three in a row at Maryland for the first time since 1991-93.Dez Wells scored 13 for the Terrapins, who fell to 14-2 at home. Center Alex Len, who was double-teamed almost every time he touched the ball, had nine points and seven rebounds.The Cavaliers limited Maryland to one basket in the opening four minutes of the second half and extended a six-point halftime lead to 44-32. After Seth Allen scored for the Terrapins, Paul Jesperson bagged a 3-pointer on the other end to make it 47-34.It was 51-37 with 13 minutes left before Maryland coach Mark Turgeon called a timeout, took out Len and instructed his team to employ a full-court press. The Cavaliers struggled under the pressure, and the Terrapins scored five straight points to cut the gap to 51-42.But Virginia answered with a basket by Harris and two 3-pointers by Evan Nolte for a 59-46 advantage.Maryland closed to 63-55 with 6:48 remaining and 74-67 in the final minute, but the Cavaliers had an answer on each occasion.Anderson was jeered by Maryland students virtually every time he touched the ball. The 6-foot-6 freshman committed to Maryland in 2011, but after Terps coach Gary Williams retired Anderson changed his mind and accepted a scholarship from Virginia.Anderson went 5 for 14 from the floor but was 6 for 6 at the line and grabbed nine rebounds.Anderson scored 14 points and Harris had 12 to stake the Cavaliers to a 35-29 halftime lead. Virginia limited the Terrapins to 11-for-31 shooting and held a 20-14 rebounding edge.Maryland missed eight of its first 11 shots from the floor and trailed 16-9 after the Cavaliers got successive 3-pointers from Harris. It was 20-11 before a layup by Allen and a dunk by Nick Faust sparked a 13-5 run that got the Terrapins to 25-24.Minutes later, a follow-shot by Charles Mitchell and a driving layup by Faust tied it at 28.Anderson responded with a jumper, and the Cavaliers never surrendered the lead.