BLACKSBURG — In early December, the Virginia Tech men’s basketball team was 7-0 and receiving votes in the Associated Press Top 25 poll.
Now the slumping Hokies no longer have a winning record. And they are in the ACC basement.
The Hokies suffered their fifth consecutive defeat Thursday, falling to Maryland 60-55 at Cassell Coliseum.
Tech (11-11, 2-7) has lost nine of its past 11 games. This is the first time all season the Hokies have not had a winning overall record.
Virginia Tech fell back into a tie with Georgia Tech and Boston College for last place in the ACC. The Hokies are at the midpoint of their ACC schedule, which this season has expanded from 16 to 18 games.
Maryland (17-6, 5-5), which took the lead for good early in the second half, earned its first ACC road win in five tries this season.
Virginia Tech point guard Erick Green, the nation’s scoring leader, had 29 points. After scoring just 16 points in last weekend’s overtime loss at North Carolina, Green had 16 points in the first half Thursday.
He was 7 of 21 from the field at UNC but was 6 of 12 from the field in the first half Thursday. He finished 10 of 23 from the field.
The Terrapins beat Tech for the third straight time, including the second time this season. This is the first time Maryland has beaten Tech twice in one season since the Hokies joined the ACC.
Maryland freshman guard Jake Layman, who had four 3-pointers and a career-high 20 points in Maryland’s 94-71 rout of Tech last month, hurt the Hokies once again.
Layman, who entered the rematch averaging 5 points, had two 3-pointers and a dunk before the game was 4 minutes old Thursday. He finished with 14 points.
Down 27-24 at halftime, Maryland began the second half on a 9-0 run to grab a 33-27 lead with 17:38 to go. The Terrapins led the rest of the way. Layman had five points in that run.
Trailing 46-37, the Hokies went on a 7-0 run to cut the deficit to 46-44 with 8:45 to go. Green had five points in the run.
Jarell Eddie scored to cut the lead to 51-48. Green made one of two free throws to cut the deficit to 51-49 with 5:10 left.
Logan Aronhalt answered with Maryland’s eighth 3-pointer to extend the lead to 54-49.
Cadarian Raines dunked to cut the lead to 54-51.
Green sank a jumper to cut the deficit to 54-53 with 1:20 to go.
Alex Len (10 points) made two free throws to extend the lead to 56-53 with 58.4 seconds left.
After slumping guard Robert Brown of Tech missed a layup with 34 seconds left, Maryland’s Nick Faust made two free throws for a 58-53 cushion with 28 seconds remaining.
Green sank two free throws to cut the lead to 58-55 with 9.6 seconds left, but Maryland freshman Seth Allen made one of two free throws for a 59-55 cushion.
Virginia Tech shot just 33.8 percent from the field to and was outrebounded 46-38. Tech had just four second-chance points.
Tech was just 2 of 18 from 3-point range. Tech also struggled from the free-throw line, going 9 of 16,
Raines scored 14 points.
Eddie, who entered the game averaging 14.4 points, scored just two points. He was 1 of 8 from the field.
Brown was 1 of 9 from the field and scored two points. He is shooting just 23 percent from the field (28 of 121) in his past 13 games.
The Hokies were down to seven scholarship players Thursday because backup guard Marquis Rankin missed the game with the flu.
Trailing 21-10, the Hokies went on an 12-1 run to tie the score at 22 with 3:44 left in the first half. Green had nine points in the run.