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Maryland fails to close out season with a win

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Maryland fails to close out season with a win

    CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -- Bryn Renner tied a school record with five touchdown passes, while Gio Bernard ran for 163 yards and a score to help North Carolina beat Maryland 45-38 in the finale for both teams Saturday.

Freshman Quinshad Davis had nine catches for 135 yards and two touchdowns for the Tar Heels (8-4, 5-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), who blew the game open with a dominating third quarter en route to another big scoring output in their first season under Larry Fedora. North Carolina won eight games for the second time in three seasons but is banned from a bowl due to NCAA sanctions.

Brandon Ross ran for 141 yards and a touchdown for the Terrapins (4-8, 2-6), who closed their second straight bowl-less season under Randy Edsall. They led 35-21 after Stefon Diggs' 99-yard kickoff return to open the second half, but UNC scored 24 straight points to take back control.

Renner connected with Davis for a 50-yard scoring pass to start UNC's game-turning charge, then found Erik Highsmith for a 15-yard scoring pass on the next possession to tie the game. Thomas Moore put the Tar Heels ahead to stay with a 22-yard field goal midway through the third, then Bernard -- who tallied his fifth 100-yard rushing game this season -- scored from 1 yard out to make it 45-35 late in the quarter.

While Renner and the Tar Heels heated up, Maryland's offense -- led by converted linebacker Shawn Petty due to a rash of injuries at quarterback -- couldn't sustain any drives or come up with a momentum-killing answer. After racking up 304 yards by halftime, Maryland had 14 plays for minus-7 yards with just one first down in the third quarter.

The Terrapins managed a field goal to make it a one-possession game with 3:12 left, but the Tar Heels moved the chains behind Bernard to run out the clock and send Maryland into the offseason with six straight losses.

As the final seconds ticked away, UNC defensive tackle Sylvester Williams -- one of the seniors who stuck around instead of transferring after the NCAA sanctions were announced -- doused Fedora with a cooler of water to celebrate the win.

There were also a few chants of "ACC! ACC!" from North Carolina fans, a jab at Maryland's announcement earlier this week that it would move to the Big Ten in 2014.

Renner completed 28 of 39 passes for 305 yards for UNC, and nearly had his sixth TD pass of the day when he found Davis for what appeared to be a 10-yard score. But officials reviewed the play and determined Davis was down inside the 1, leading to Bernard's short scoring run.

Petty, Maryland's fifth QB this year, finished with a career-best 208 yards passing in his fourth straight start. Diggs also threw an 8-yard scoring pass on a trick play with 21 seconds left in the first half, the first of three touchdowns in 34 seconds that seized momentum for the Terrapins.

UNC muffed the ensuing kickoff and Petty connected with Kevin Dorsey for a 28-yard score with 4 seconds left in the half, then Diggs capped the flurry with his long kickoff return coming out of halftime. 

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Maryland's Justin Jackson reportedly coming back to College Park

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Maryland's Justin Jackson reportedly coming back to College Park

It's the time of year when NBA prospects have major, life-changing decisions to make.

For some, entering the NBA draft is an easy one. They don't need anymore outside opinions.

But for others, like Maryland's Justin Jackson, testing the waters is the most important part. 

Jon Rothstein of FanRagSports is reporting that Jackson is “expected” to return to Maryland for his sophomore season.

Jackson worked out for the Raptors Tuesday,  and told the media he still wanted to sit down with his family before making a final decision.

“Truthfully, I’m hearing a whole bunch of different things, it’s kind of mixed right now,” he said at the workout. “I really got to sit down, discuss with my family, my circle and really try to figure things out.”

When you have a 7-3 wingspan on a 6-7 frame, you're always intriguing to NBA scouts, especially when you can stretch the floor from 3-point range as well.

Despite some saying Jackson could sneak into the first round, not hiring an agent gives him the opportunity to come back to College Park.

An option he apparently is taking.

That would be great news for the Terps too, after losing Melo Trimble for good already to the NBA.

Jackson's 10.5 points per game and 6 boards as a freshman will make him the team's top returner in both categories.

Numbers that will certainly grow with his role next season.

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Maryland lands a graduate transfer commitment from Duke

Maryland lands a graduate transfer commitment from Duke

The Maryland Terrapins snagged former Duke player Sean Obi as a graduate transfer, the school announced on Thursday. He didn't play last season due to knee surgury that he underwent last summer. 

Obi began his college career at Rice during the 2013-14 season, and posted 11.4 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. After his freshman season at Rice, he transferred to Duke where he had to sit out 2014-15 season, per NCAA rules. In his lone season as a Blue Devil, Obi played in just 10 games and averaged 0.5 points per game. As a graduate transfer, Obi will be eligible to play for Maryland immediately. 

We are excited to welcome Sean to Maryland," said Maryland coach Mark Turgeon. "As a graduate transfer, he brings high character, experience and maturity to our team. Sean is a good rebounder and gives us another physical presence inside. Sean is healthy and ready to contribute."

Obi, who is 6-9, could provide Maryland help on the offensive and defensive boards in 2017 after they ranked 300th in the country in defensive rebound percentage. 

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