COLLEGE PARK - The Maryland men's basketball team hopped off the court beaming on its way to what coach Mark Turgeon called the team's first two huggers of the year in the locker room moments later.
Coming back to beat Miami felt that good to the Terrapins Tuesday.
One game after an abysmal effort at No. 22 Virginia, the Terps capitalized on a series of Hurricanes miscues while stringing together some big plays of their own to erase a late five-point deficit and earn their first win over a team ahead of them in the ACC standings, 75-70 at a three-quarters-filled Comcast Center.
"That doesn't count as three wins, but man it sure feels like it," Turgeon said. "It's a great turnaround, shows a little bit about the group in there. It shows me a lot, and gives me confidence in them."
Sophomore Terrell Stoglin led all scorers with 20 points, but senior Sean Mosley (15 points) and junior James Padgett, who matched his career high with 16 points, were the ones at the center of Maryland's finishing flourish.
The Terps (16-10, 6-7 ACC) put together a 14-2 run in just 90 seconds, beginning with 1:37 to go to take their first lead since 12:09 remained, with Mosley scoring seven during that stretch.
With Maryland trailing 66-61, Mosley ended a disjointed offensive possession by hitting a 3-pointer from the top of the arc.
"I had confidence in myself," Mosley said. "I took advantage of the opportunity and made a shot."
The Hurricanes (16-10, 7-6) couldn't convert on two attempts the next time they got the ball and Turgeon called a timeout with 1:03 on the clock.
Out of the stoppage, Ashton Pankey missed from in tight, but Padgett hauled in the rebound and stuck a short jumper in traffic as he was fouled with 44.5 seconds to go. He completed the three-point play to return to the lead to the Terps, 67-66.
"I just felt the building getting louder and louder," Mosley said. "The excitement and energy going down the stretch was huge for us because we had all the momentum."
Then, after a mostly solid effort, Miami began to bungle the game away with the crowd at deafening decibel levels. Durand Scott (14 points) tried to execute a cross-over dribble at the other end and freshman Nick Faust was having none of it, swiping the ball into Mosley's hands. The senior was fouled and hit both from the line for a three-point lead.
The Hurricanes fumbled away the next possession, literally, when freshman Shane Larkin lost the ball out of bounds trying to hand it off to a teammate. Stoglin made a pair of free throws for Maryland's ninth and 10th straight points, and a 71-66 advantage.
Larkin went end to end to cut the margin back to three, for Miami's first field goal in nearly nine minutes. But Stoglin and Mosley both went 2-for-2 from the line the next two possessions to give the Terps a seven-point advantage with 7.3 seconds remaining. Maryland hit all nine of its free-throw attempts during the winning run.
"It says a lot about our team. We don't quit," Stoglin said. "Coach told us they were going to make a run. We just had to make a run back. We did and we sustained it."
So after six lead changes and four ties, the Terps had their second win over a team ranked in the top 50 of the ratings percentage index.
A leap in post play was crucial to allowing Maryland to come back this time, as the home team bounced back from being outrebounded 21-14 on the glass in the first half.
The Terps outrebounded the Hurricanes 22-10 in the final 20 minutes, with half of their boards coming on offense after being held to one before the break. It didn't hurt that 284-pound center Reggie Johnson had an off night and played just four minutes after halftime. Alex Len also played a role with all eight of his points coming in the second half.
Additionally, Maryland finished with 15 assists on 26 field goals, winning by sharing the ball and finishing as well as it has all season.
"That's the kind of win right there that will carry over hopefully for the rest of the year and into the future because we're a young team and we've got to learn how to win," Turgeon said. "When you win a game like that, you're learning how to win."
NOTE: Maryland honored Johnny Rhodes' No. 15 in the Comcast Center rafters before Tuesday's game. Rhodes, who played for the Terps from 1992-96, is still the ACC's all-time leader in steals.