COLLEGE PARK -- It was all about second chances for Maryland's Mike Mardesich.
When he came off the bench midway through the first half last night, the 7-foot center heard the murmurs of boos. But Mardesich showed his determination by grabbing a team-best four offensive rebounds and scoring six of his eight points off those second opportunities.
When he left the court for the final time, the junior reserve received one of the loudest ovations of the night.
"Before, I just felt like dead weight out there," said Mardesich, who hadn't scored a point since Jan. 22. "I have a lot of pride. I didn't want it to continue. Once I got the first one, it took a lot of the pressure off."
During the Atlantic Coast Conference season, Mardesich had watched his production and minutes decrease as the Terrapins' wins increased. Going scoreless in four his previous five games, Mardesich logged only four minutes at Florida State four days ago.
Mardesich, however, knew he had an chance to be a big factor heading into last night's game against the Virginia Cavaliers, whose centers had at least a four-inch height disadvantage to him.
Mardesich didn't waste any time either. He scored six points off three offensive rebounds in his first five minutes and finished with his most productive game in a month.
"I know I'm not going to score a lot of points off my jump shot," Mardesich said. "[Rebounding] is one way I can contribute. I wanted to do something to make an impact."
Maryland converted a season-high 30 free throws, hitting 18 of 20 (90 percent) during its best stretch. And the fourth-best free-throw shooting team in the ACC wasn't in the mood to explain it.
"No comment," coach Gary Williams said. "Jeez, they went in tonight. Hopefully, they'll be there next game. But you never know. It's a strange thing."
Gov. Parris Glendening, a former professor in College Park, had a front-row seat last night. The Terrapins won their fifth consecutive over the Cavaliers, including their eighth straight against them in Cole. Maryland out-rebounded Virginia, 39-25, its second-largest margin of the season. Terrapins forward Terence Morris recorded his fifth double double of the season with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Maryland is now 25-2 in its past 27 home games, only losing to Duke twice. The Terrapins shot 56.9 percent from the field, their second-highest clip of the season, and attempted a season-low six three-pointers.
W-L Pct. W-L Pct.
Duke 7-0 1.000 16-2 .889
Virginia 5-3 .625 15-6 .714
N.C. State 5-3 .625 15-4 .789
N. Carolina 4-3 .571 13-8 .619
Maryland 4-4 .500 15-6 .714
Fla. State 3-5 .375 8-11 .421
Wake Forest 3-5 .375 12-9 .571
Ga. Tech 2-6 .250 9-11 .450
Clemson 2-6 .250 8-13 .381
Last night's results
Maryland 91, Virginia 79
Clemson 70, Georgia Tech 58
N.C. State 68, Florida State 58
Davidson 54, Wake Forest 49, OT
Duke at North Carolina, 9
Wake Forest at Florida State, 1
Florida A&M; at Georgia Tech, 1
Virginia at Duke, 3
North Carolina at Clemson, 1: 30 N.C. State at Maryland, 4