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Maryland Outlasts West Virginia Late in First Round of NCAA Tournament, 67-65

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. —  In the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, 8-seed Maryland defeated 9-seed West Virginia 67-65.

Thursday’s first round game was Kedrian Johnson’s, despite the miss in the final seconds.

Johnson picked up two quick fouls in the first half. Johnson was sent to the bench and his absence was missed as the Terrapins got back into the game. Before the end of the first half, Johnson returned to the floor.

Johnson was the clear difference in the second half, putting the offense on his back. Johnson converted three and-one opportunities to give West Virginia the lead right back in the second half.

The fifth-year senior from Texas finished with 27 points on 8-of-13 shooting.

The officiating crew that consisted of Ronald Groover, Darron George and Edwin Young called a combined 43 fouls between both teams. West Virginia and Maryland were both in the double bonus with eight minutes to go in the game.

Johnson received help on the offensive end from Tre Mitchell. Mitchell played 40 minutes and recorded 13 points.

West Virginia took advantage right out of the gates, turning Maryland over six times. The Terrapins went on an eight minute drought without a field goal. WVU was up early 19-6.

West Virginia out-rebounded Maryland 35-29.

In the first minutes of the second half, WVU F Emmitt Matthews exited the game holding his left shoulder. Matthews checked back into the game with two minutes left.

With the loss, it marks the end of Johnson’s, Erik Stevenson’s and Matthews’ collegiate careers. All three were fifth-year seniors and run out of eligibility.

West Virginia and Maryland last met in the second round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament. West Virginia defeated Maryland 69-59. This marked the last time the two met in their series history.

West Virginia leads all-time 17-13 against the Terrapins.

West Virginia will head home following the early elimination, concluding their 19-win season. The Mountaineers will move onto the offseason and look to retool through the transfer portal once again.

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