COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) - In his first Atlantic Coast Conference game as a head coach, Steve Donahue was forced to bring Boston College into the arena of the league's defending regular season co-champions.
After leading the Eagles over Maryland 79-75 on Sunday, Donahue wanted nothing more than to sit back and savor the experience.
``I'm taking it all in because it's just a great college basketball experience,' said Donahue, who spent the previous 10 seasons at Cornell. ``I like the fact we played our first one on the road. A little less pressure to win. People don't expect it, so you go out and make plays and don't worry about mistakes.'
Biko Paris scored a career-high 22 points and Corey Raji drilled the tiebreaking 3-pointer with 33.7 seconds left to lift Boston College (8-2, 1-0) to a surprising victory. Maryland had won 15 straight at home and last season tied Duke for the ACC regular season title.
``We persevered,' Paris said. ``The coaches did a good job of preparing us for a game like this.'
Reggie Jackson scored 16 for the Eagles, who made 13 3-pointers in extending their winning streak to five games.
``They ran a really nice press,' Paris said of the Terrapins, ``but they were slow getting back on defense so we had a lot of wide open shots.'
Jordan Williams had a career-high 27 points and 13 rebounds for Maryland (7-4, 0-1). The Terrapins failed to score over the final 2:40.
``This really hurts for me personally to lose this game,' Maryland coach Gary Williams said. ``I thought it was a game we could win, but give Boston College credit. We can get better.'
The back-and-forth game featured 16 lead changes and 11 ties.
``I was proud of our guys persevering through chances,' Donahue said. ``I thought Maryland had chances to put us away and we fought through big shot after big shot.'
After a basket by Williams in the lane and a drive by Adrian Bowie put the Terps ahead 75-72, Joe Trapani made one of two foul shots for BC and a basket by Raji tied it, setting the stage for the thrilling finish.
Freshman Terrell Stoglin missed a jumper and the front end of a 1-and-1 before Raji connected for the game-winner off a pass from Jackson.
Maryland senior Cliff Turner then lost the ball, and Raji sank a free throw with 14 seconds left.
``Anytime a game gets like that in the last few minutes, things happen,' Gary Williams said. ``We missed some shots, they made some shots. It's the first 38 minutes a lot of times that determines getting into that situation.'
It was the fifth straight double-double for Williams, whose previous career high in points was 26. Stoglin and Dino Gregory each scored 14. But the Terrapins were 3 for 17 from beyond the arc.
``Any loss is disappointing, but to start ACC play with a loss is tough,' Jordan Williams said.
Maryland led 57-53 before Raji and Paris hit 3-pointers in a 7-2 spurt for the Eagles. A dunk by Williams blunted the charge, but Jackson made a jumper to put BC back in front.
No lead was safe. The Terrapins led 67-64 before Paris sank a 3-pointer, and minutes later a 3-pointer by Trapani put Boston College ahead 72-71.
Williams had 13 points and Stoglin had 10 to help the Terrapins take a 41-39 halftime lead.
Maryland went up for the first time when Sean Mosley stole the ball from Jackson in the backcourt and made a three-point play for a 23-21 lead.
Jackson had only two points before his three-point play got the Eagles to 38-37. Williams then made a three-point play on the other end before Jackson drove the lane for the final basket before the break.
``Even though we had a two-point lead at halftime, I felt we should have had a bigger lead,' Gary Williams said. ``But it wasn't there. Then in the second half, no one could pull away.'
The Associated Press News Service
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