Poor Illini shooting seals road loss



By David Ginsburg

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Eric Hayes scored a career-high 18 points, including four clutch free throws in the final 24 seconds, and Maryland held on to beat Illinois 69-61 Wednesday night in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge.

James Gist had 12 points and nine rebounds for the Terrapins (5-2) and Greivis Vasquez offset a 2-for-14 shooting night with 10 assists.

Calvin Brock led Illinois (4-2) with 13 points. The Fighting Illini shot only 33 percent and went 9-for-29 from three-point range.

After Landon Milbourne made two free throws to give Maryland a 64-60 lead with 1 minute left, Brian Randle made one of two foul shots for the Illini. Hayes then sank two at the line, Vasquez made one and Hayes capped the scoring with two free throws with 8.9 seconds to go.

Seconds earlier, fans in the crowd began chanting “ACC! ACC!”

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Thank you for subscribing!

Maryland trailed 42-39 before Gist scored in the lane and Hayes hit a three-pointer to spark a 10-2 run that made it 49-44. Freshman Cliff Tucker capped the spree with a three-pointer and a driving layup.

After Randle scored for Illinois, Hayes made a driving layup and Tucker added a jumper to give the Terrapins their biggest lead, 53-46 with 8:24 left.

Minutes later, successive dunks by Vasquez and freshman Jerome Burney made it 57-49. But 2-pointers by Shaun Pruitt and Trent Meacham got Illinois to 62-58, and a basket by Pruitt cut it to 62-60 with 1:15 to go.

The first half, which featured nine ties and eight lead changes, ended appropriately at 32-all. After Hayes made two three-pointers in an early 8-0 spurt that put the Terrapins ahead 15-10, Illinois quickly tied it at 15. Neither team led by more than three points the rest of the half.