Terps Fall At Clemson, 93-64
This game got away from Maryland in a hurry. Though the Terps weren't playing particularly well on offense in the first half, they were able to keep within striking distance of Clemson by matching the Tigers' intensity on defense. Eventually, though, Maryland wore down and Clemson pulled away. The Tigers went on a 25-8 run that spanned seven minutes of the second half.
"We’ve beaten teams with size and athleticism before this year," Gary Williams said. "They have a very good team. They deserve to be ranked where they are. And we knew that coming in. In the first half, we were able to play a little better and that size and athleticism didn’t get us. It got us in the second half, but how much of that is our doing, by not doing what we’re supposed to be doing, contributed to it."
1) Ability to break Clemson's press. The Tigers operate a press as fierce as any other that Maryland has faced this season, but the Terps were able to break through it with relative ease. That seemingly was the easy part. Maryland's struggles began once it crossed midcourt.
2) Second-half shooting. Williams said he was not pleased with the manner in which his team ran its offensive sets, but at least the Terps' shots were falling with greater frequency after halftime. Maryland shot 42.9 percent from the field and 55.6 percent from three-point range after the intermission, marked improvements from its woeful shooting numbers (32.0 percent fg; 16.7 percent 3-pt. fg) in the first half.
3) Jerome Burney. After missing 16 games, the sophomore forward returned to action and played eight minutes. He tallied two points, three rebounds, two assists and a block.
1) Missed lay-ups. There were a lot of open misses from short range tonight for the Terps. As well as Maryland broke Clemson's press, it was equally inept at finishing layups on the other end. Williams cited missed layups as part of the reason why Maryland could not capitalize on scoring opportunities when the lead still was within reach.
2) Three-point shooting defense. This is a two-pronged issue, really. Maryland's perimeter defenders had to sag inside to help double-team Clemson's post players. And when they did that, the Tigers did a good job of kicking the ball back outside for open three-point looks. Clemson shot 46.2 percent from beyond the arc. "You pick your poison," Williams said.
3) Turnovers. As Williams pointed out, the Tigers applied intense ball pressure and were extremely quick, but Maryland has prided itself on being a good ball-handling unit. A key contributing factor to the Terps' success this season has been their ability to limit ball-handling miscues. But tonight, that quality never revealed itself. Maryland tallied 14 turnovers, which is not an egregious total, but was more than the Terps' margin for error allowed.
"They kind of capitalized on our turnovers, and we kind of backed down in the second half more than we did in the first half," Dave Neal said.
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