By David Ginsburg, AP Sports Writer
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Kyle Guy scored 18 points and No. 4 Virginia combined effective outside shooting with its usual stout defense to slip past 24th-ranked Maryland 76-71 Wednesday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
The Cavaliers (7-0) blew most of a 17-point lead before making six free throws in the final 37 seconds to hand Maryland its first loss. Ty Jerome scored 17 and De’Andre Hunter had 15 for Virginia, which improved to 121-35 in nonconference games under coach Tony Bennett.
Guy nailed five 3-pointers and the Cavaliers went 10 for 22 beyond the arc. Virginia committed only two turnovers and had assists on 15 of its 28 baskets.
Bruno Fernando had 14 points and 11 rebounds, and Anthony Cowan Jr. scored 15 for the Terrapins (6-1). After trailing 48-31 with 16:29 left, Maryland closed to 63-59 before Jerome popped a 3-pointer and Jack Salt added a dunk to quell the comeback.
The Terrapins committed 14 turnovers, went 7 for 17 from 3-point range and finished well below their scoring average of 84.8 points per game. But they shot 54 percent and became the first team this season to break the 60-point barrier against the Cavaliers.
Maryland and Virginia first met in the 1912-13 season and were both members of the ACC before the Terrapins joined the Big Ten in 2014. The Cavaliers trail in the series 107-76 but have won eight of the last nine.
It was Virginia’s second straight victory over a Big Ten team. The Cavaliers defeated Wisconsin last week to win the Battle 4 Atlantis.
Guy scored 15 points and accounted for four of Virginia’s eight 3-pointers in a first half that ended with the Cavaliers up 39-30.
Maryland made only one less basket than Virginia and held a 19-11 rebounding edge, but the Cavaliers’ 8-for-16 shooting beyond the arc made all the difference.
Also worth noting: Virginia had 11 assists and only one turnover through the first 20 minutes.
Virginia: The Cavaliers played their usual brand of suffocating defense and added an outside shooting touch to knock off a ranked team and solidify their stature in the top 5.
Maryland: If this game was held later in the season, perhaps the young Terrapins would have fared better. At this point, however, they’re just not mature or good enough to compete against a talented squad with a tenacious defense.
Virginia plays a Maryland-based team for the fourth time this season, hosting Morgan State on Monday night.
Maryland opens Big Ten play Saturday against Penn State, the last of six straight home games for the Terps.
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