By Todd McElwee
MARYLAND PAGE MARYLAND VIDEO
Back in December Boston College defeated Maryland, 79-75, in College Park. Exactly two months to the day after that conference-opening loss, the Terps will look to settle the score when they visit Chestnut Hill Saturday afternoon in a pivotal contest for both sides.
"It's a huge game," Terps senior forward Dino Gregory said after Wednesday's 106-52 victory against Longwood. "Both of us are fighting for an NCAA spot. Going up there it's going to be a tough game for us. Their crowd is good. They are a good team with a good coach. It's a really big game for us."
Maryland (16-8, 5-4 ACC) and Boston College (15-9, 5-5) are in sixth and seventh place respectively within the 12-team ACC. And in a league that is considered down this season, the only way to earn a NCAA Tournament bid is to finish within the top half of the standings.
The Terps seem to be catching the Eagles at the right time. Boston College, which started 3-0 in conference play, has dropped four of five and is coming off a 77-69 loss at Clemson on Tuesday.
The Eagles have been a tough out at Chestnut Hill. They're 10-3 overall and 4-1 in ACC games staged on their home floor. At 4-2 overall and 3-1 in league play, Maryland is just as dangerous on the road.
Maryland could have, and probably should have, defeated the Eagles in December. The Terps posted a higher field-goal percentage, grabbed more rebounds, committed fewer turnovers, scored more points off of turnovers and in the paint and got better production from their bench. Sophomore forward Jordan Williams had 27 points and 14 boards to pace Maryland.
"Back then we were a totally different team," Gregory said. "We were really young and everybody has matured on this team. We are playing together more. Hopefully we will get a good outcome up there."
Frees and 3s killed Maryland. The Terps -- who did have six players making their ACC debuts -- were just awful from both the foul and 3-point lines.
Maryland was just 8 of 14 from the charity stripe, a meager 57.1 percent. The Terps were even worse from long range going an atrocious 3 of 17 from being the 3-point arc. Who knows, if a few of those foul shots and treys dropped, the victory could have belonged to the home team. Boston College was 10 of 14 from the free throw line and hit 13 of 29 3-pointers.
"When you go against a team like Boston College, they beat us down here and basically I think they scored 30 points from the 3-point line," Terps head coach Gary Williams said Wednesday. "When we go up there, we can probably shoot better. They have shot better from the 3-point line. We have to play better defense. So we'll see where we are."
On Feb. 20, Greivis Vasquez will have his jersey honored at the Comcast Center before Maryland's game with North Carolina State. He will be the 16th Terp player to be honored. Gary Williams is also represented in the rafters.
The current Memphis Grizzles guard is the Terps' second-leading scorer with 2,171 points. He is also the only player in Atlantic Coast Conference history with 2,000 points, 700 assists and 600 rebounds.
Last season he was selected as the ACC Player of the Year and also won the Bob Cousy Award as the top point guard in college hoops. A second team All-American, he was selected by Memphis with the 28th pick in the first round of last June's NBA Draft.