Originally created 02/22/98

Maryland shows strength with win over Tech



COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Laron Profit scored 19 points and No. 25 Maryland clinched a third-place finish in the Atlantic Coast Conference with an 81-69 victory over Georgia Tech on Saturday.

Obinna Ekezie added 17 points as Maryland (16-9, 9-6) assured itself a winning league record. Sarunas Jasikevicius had 15 points for the Terrapins, who have finished in the top three in the conference two of the last four years.

Rodney Elliott, playing in his final game at Cole Field House, had his first double-double against an ACC opponent, finishing with 12 points and 11 rebounds in Maryland's fourth straight victory over Georgia Tech.

Freshman Dion Glover matched his career-high with 29 points for Georgia Tech (17-10, 6-8), which was the only other team with a chance to finish third in the ACC. Matt Harpring added 19 points and nine rebounds for the Yellow Jackets, who had a three-game winning streak snapped.

Georgia Tech cut a 12-point halftime deficit to 53-50 on consecutive 3-pointers by Glover and Travis Spivey.

Profit converted a steal into a three-point play as Maryland regained control with a 7-0 run that made it 60-50 with 9:18 remaining.

Profit wound up with 10 points during what proved to be a 16-6 run that gave Maryland its largest lead, 69-56 with 5:45 remaining.

Maryland coach Gary Williams removed Elliott, Jasikevicius and Matt Kovarik with 33 seconds left, bear-hugging each senior as they came off the court.

Profit finished with five steals to move into third place on Maryland's single-season and career lists. Profit, a junior, has 79 steals this season and 176 for his career.

Profit had nine points and three steals as Maryland took a 41-29 halftime lead. Elliott, who scored all eight of his first-half points in the final 7:23, gave Maryland the first of several 12-point leads when he followed a missed shot with a one-handed tomahawk dunk .