NCAA

Ryan's 3 TDs has Falcons ahead 27-7 over Seattle

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Ryan's 3 TDs has Falcons ahead 27-7 over Seattle

ATLANTA (AP) Russell Wilson threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Golden Tate on Seattle's first possession of the second half, but Matt Ryan threw his third touchdown of the game to give the Atlanta Falcons a 27-7 lead over the Seahawks through three quarters in Sunday's NFC divisional playoff game.

Ryan, who never reached 200 yards passing in losing his first three playoff games, had 206 yards with three touchdowns and one interception through three quarters.

The Falcons led 20-0 at halftime before Wilson produced a scoring drive to open the second half. Wilson, who had a 17-yard run early in the drive, threw to Tate on the left sideline to cap the 80-yard drive.

Ryan had a quick answer. Taking advantage of the Seahawks' man-to-man coverage by the cornerbacks, Ryan passed to Julio Jones for gains of 13 and 21 yards.

On second down from the Seahawks 5, Ryan faked a pitch to Jones before shoving a toss to Jason Snelling for the 5-yard touchdown.

The quarter ended with the Seahawks again moving deep in Atlanta territory.

The Falcons' defense made a fourth-down stop to set up Ryan's second TD pass and then delivered another stop as the first half ended.

Ryan's 47-yard touchdown pass to Roddy White in the second quarter built the lead to 20-0.

The Falcons' defense then stiffened after Wilson moved the Seahawks to a first down at the Atlanta 6. Wilson threw incomplete passes to Sidney Rice and Tate as Seattle used all its timeouts. On third down from the 11, Wilson was sacked by Jonathan Babineaux and time expired before the rookie quarterback could attempt a fourth-down pass.

Ryan, who threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Tony Gonzalez in the first quarter, threw deep over the middle to White for his second scoring pass. Cornerback Richard Sherman fell down while attempting to cover White, and safety Kam Chancellor was too late in providing help.

Falcons fans chanted ``Roddy! Roddy!'' as officials returned to the field following their review to announce the touchdown call was confirmed.

The long touchdown pass came after a fourth-down stop by the Falcons' defense deep in Atlanta territory.

Wilson completed a 34-yard pass to tight end Zach Miller and added a 16-yard pass to Tate to push the Seahawks deep into Atlanta territory in the second quarter.

Robert Turbin was stopped on third-and-1 from the Falcons 11. On fourth down, Wilson handed to fullback Michael Robinson, who was dropped by Falcons safety Charles Mitchell for a 1-yard loss.

The Falcons overcame an interception by Ryan by taking advantage of a fumble by Seattle's Marshawn Lynch.

Ryan's pass for Gonzalez was intercepted by Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, giving Seattle possession at its 33 midway through the quarter.

On first down from the 50, Lynch fumbled when hit by linebacker Sean Weatherspoon. Babineaux recovered at the Atlanta 39 to set up the touchdown drive. Wagner was penalized for a horse-collar tackle on Turner, moving the Falcons to the Seattle 29.

Ryan completed a 16-yard pass to backup tight end Chase Coffman to the 1, setting up the touchdown pass to Gonzalez.

The Falcons held the ball for 11 plays on their opening drive, which ended with Matt Bryant's 39-yard field goal.

The Seahawks trailed 14-0 before rallying in last week's 24-14 victory over Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins in the opening round of the playoffs.

Jacquizz Rodgers broke through the Seattle line for a 45-yard run, the longest of his career, on the final play of the first quarter. The 11-play drive stalled at the Seahawks 19, setting up a 37-yard field goal by Bryant for a 13-0 lead.

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Smith scores 17 to help No. 6 Maryland beat Fairfield 74-55

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Smith scores 17 to help No. 6 Maryland beat Fairfield 74-55

Jalen Smith had 17 points and eight rebounds, and No. 6 Maryland used depth and balance to wear down Fairfield in a 74-55 victory Tuesday might.

The Terrapins (4-0) took the lead for good at 9-8, increased the margin to 14 at halftime and cruised to the finish.

Anthony Cowan Jr. scored 12 points to pass James Gist and move into the Top 20 on Maryland's career scoring list with 1,424.

Sophomore Ricky Lindo Jr. contributed a career-high 13 points, and Eric Ayala also scored 13.

Landon Taliaferro scored 15 for the Stags (1-4). Twelve of Fairfield's 18 baskets were from beyond the arc.

Coming off an overtime loss to Loyola Maryland in which they committed 21 turnovers, the Stags had 16 against the Terrapins -- at least one by nine different players.

Fairfield cut a 15-point deficit to 55-46 before baskets by Cowan and Smith began a 12-3 spurt that made it 67-49 with 6:12 left. The highlight of the run was a resounding dunk by Smith off an alley-oop pass from Hakim Hart following a Fairfield turnover.

The Stags made only one field goal over the final 8 minutes.

Nine players scored in the first half for Maryland, and the Terrapins overcame an early deficit to take a 41-27 lead at the break.

Fairfield went 7 for 11 from beyond the arc before halftime, but committed 10 turnovers and was whistled for 12 fouls.

Maryland led 13-12 before a 3-pointer by Ayala and a dunk off a steal by Darryl Morsell sparked a 12-2 run that put the Terrapins up by 11.

Despite getting off to another slow start, the Terrapins completed the opening 20 minutes with their largest halftime lead of the season.

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Diakite, No. 7 Virginia hold off Vermont, 61-55

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Diakite, No. 7 Virginia hold off Vermont, 61-55

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) -- Mamadi Diakite scored 19 points and No. 7 Virginia withstood a 3-point shooting display by Anthony Lamb and beat Vermont 61-55 on Tuesday night.

The Cavaliers (4-0) trailed before Diakite's basket gave them a 50-49 lead with 5:12 left and sparked a 9-0 run. Jay Huff scored twice in the spurt and Braxton Key hit a 3-pointer as Virginia held the Catamounts scoreless, and forced four turnovers, in a nearly four-minute span.

Lamb scored 30 for Vermont (4-1), including 25 in the second half, to nearly match the point total of the Cavaliers' first two opponents of the season, who each managed just 34 points. Stef Smith added 11 points, but Virginia turned Vermont's 13 turnovers into 20 points.

Kihei Clark scored 15 points and Key had 14 points for Virginia.

Virginia led 24-18 at halftime, but Vermont used a 10-2 run to start the half to take its first lead since the early going. Lamb had seven points in the run, including the last five, and tacked on his team's next 12 points with four 3-pointers as the score was tied five times.

BIG PICTURE

Vermont: The Catamounts hang their hat on defense, too, and came into the game with a 107-9 record since the 2011-12 season when holding their opponents to 60 points or fewer

Virginia: The Cavaliers' defensive excellence has been essential early in the season as they still are struggling to find an offensive rhythm. Highly regarded freshman guard Casey Morsell came into the game having made just 2 of 21 field goal attempts and was 1 for 6. Virginia has made 21 3-pointers in its first four games and allowed 31, including 12 by the Catamounts in 33 attempts.

UP NEXT

The Catamounts face Central Connecticut State on Saturday at Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut.

The Cavaliers face Massachusetts on Saturday at Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut.

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