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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."

Three Up:

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.

Three Down:

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.

By Steve Yanda  |  February 17, 2009; 11:08 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Williams & Neal: A Tag Team Effort
Next: Making The Terps 'Scramble'


Gary screws up more coaching/lineup items and gets lauded for being a great "in-game" coach. That is total crap coming from his supporters. He's not that great of a coach and while he's done well at MD - he IS NOT an elite coach at all. Good coach who did a great job rebuilding the program.. No more and no less

Posted by: leed1911 | February 18, 2009 12:15 AM | Report abuse

come on Yanda, don't give me "one reporter asked".. you know it was me, you can call me by name.

Posted by: ChickHernandez1 | February 18, 2009 12:43 AM | Report abuse

"We’ve beaten teams with size and athleticism before this year," Gary Williams said."

Not often. I was sort of hoping the Terps could steal this one because Clemson's inside scorers weren't that much bigger than Neal and Burney. But Clemson did the smart thing: drove to insure that the guards had to sag, then kicked the ball back to those excellent 3 point shooters.

Maryland's a streaky shooting club. Thirty-some percent in one half, fifty-plus in another. At home, maybe they beat Clemson. On the road, you can't get away with it.

Gary rightly notes correctable flaws, but the real problem remains the makeup of the club itself. Strong outside, weak inside.

They'd do OK in the Colonial Athletic, but in the ACC... well, this could be a rough stretch coming up.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 18, 2009 6:58 AM | Report abuse

It's probably not realistic to expect this Terps team to play to 100 percent of its potential every game, as this season has demonstrated. However, they need to play to 100 percent of their potential to beat good teams and/or win on the road, and we only have good teams and road games coming up. This does not augur well for our chances of making the tourney.

Posted by: Lindemann777 | February 18, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

those second half stats are a bit misleading. They were practically down 15-25 points most of the half and it was beyond obvious that they were not gonna come back and win the game. Clemson just eased up on defense and let Maryland shoot 3's. Nobody cares when your shot falls when it doesn't matter. Still need 3 more wins in the last 5. I think Duke can be beaten when they have to travel. Duke always has a late season swoon. They haven't looked great lately.

Posted by: doh1 | February 18, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Tough game. The 90 seconds at the end of the half with the BS travel call that shouldve been an and 1, Clemson scoring, and then the dumb turnover and breakaway dunk really sealed the deal. If MD gets the call gets a stop and goes up 4 going into the half totally different game. Even if they don't get the call but get the stop and keep it at 1 or 2 or get the last shot I think it changes things. The Terps dropped the ball at the end of the first half whcih woke up the sleeping giant and the game was over. Maybe Clemson would've won anyways but I don't think it would've gotten out of hand the way it did without that sequence.

Posted by: Lee26 | February 18, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Agree with Lee above...Phantom travel call on a bucket that would haave tied the game at 30. Momentum was on the terps side, heading into the half. Instead, Vasquez, likely still miffed at the call, makes a boneheaded play and we're down 6 at the half with the heads down too

Posted by: asnis715 | February 18, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

I think the D on Oglesby deserved a 'three up' for the most part. Until the game was out of hand he was pretty frustrated and couldn't get a shot off. Mosely was on him like a second jersey fighting through screens for the first 30 minutes...

Posted by: Lee26 | February 18, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Now we are complaining about travel calls.

How about the atrocious first half shooting: airballs and bricks, clangers and blocks.

It is pretty obvious in the first half that the Terps worked so hard on defense, without any offensive success, that it would just be a matter of time before they collapsed. And collapse they did.

And reliable GV, turns it over as time runs down after wasting precious seconds just getting to the top of the key, sending both teams in at the half knowing what would unfold.

So we have the dreaded but expected (by some realists) blow-out. And now we are thinking that UVA will get us back on track.

C'mon all of you FOG's, let's hear about how the Terps are still going to get to 8-8 and then win one or two in the ACC.

Don't bother to make your MSG reservations. They won't get that far in the NIT.

Posted by: petecard | February 18, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Not complaining, stating that play and two bad plays was the begining of the end. It's a tough hill to climb but last night was the toughest game on the remaining schedule. Terps are back against the wall but 8-8 still gets them in, even better if they got there now as it would surely be through going over 500 in their last 5 and still winning 6 of 10.

Posted by: Lee26 | February 18, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

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