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Maryland prevails with an 88-79 win over Clemson

There was no buzzer-beating, game-winning, ecstasy-inducing three-pointer to conclude tonight's game. No, by the time the final horn sounded it had been clear for several minutes who would come out on top.

But that didn't mean Maryland's nine-point win over Clemson on Wednesday night was bereft of thrill. Far from it, in fact. The Terrapins erased what once was a 15-point Clemson lead and prevailed thanks to an offense that finally kicked into full gear. Oh, and Sean Mosley's game-high 20 points didn't hurt, either.

Yes, Mosley set aside the offensive struggles he'd been experiencing in recent weeks and displayed an assertiveness with the ball in his hands that hadn't been seen in quite some time. He scored more points before the first media timeout (nine) than he had in any of the previous seven games.

"I was looking for my shot," Mosley said. "Today I let everything come to me. My teammates did a great job finding me, and I hit all the shots that I basically took today. I had confidence in everything that I did on the offensive end."

Three Up:

1) Sean Mosley. As was previously mentioned, the sophomore guard tallied a game-high 20 points on 6 of 8 shooting. He was aggressive and swift and everything he had shown he could be in the early months of the season when points came easier for him than they have since the start of conference play. Mosley never has lacked for confidence in his shot -- even during the stretches when it has abandoned him -- and that paid off tonight against Clemson.

2) Greivis Vasquez. The senior guard took some medicine to sooth his stomach before the game, according to Coach Gary Williams, and early on it seemed as though Vasquez was dealing with some discomfort. And while his scoring didn't come until the second half, Vasquez remained engaged in the offensive flow from the outset. He tallied eight assists before recording a single point in the first half. He finished with 15 points and 13 assists. He now ranks fourth all-time on the Maryland scoring list with 2,028 points after passing John Lucas and Adrian Branch tonight.

3) Defensive adjustments. The Terrapins were torched by Clemson's improbably-deft three-point shooting in the first half. But in the second half, Maryland devoted less defensive help to guarding Clemson forward Trevor Booker and consequently was able to defend the perimeter much more tightly. After making 8 of 16 attempts from beyond the arc in the first half, Clemson made just 3 of 14 shots from three-point range in the second half. Without as much help defense, freshman forward Jordan Williams was left to defend Booker one-on-one for much of the second half, and Williams did so admirably. Booker tallied just two of his 13 points after the intermission.

Three Down:

1) First half defense. As was previously mentioned, Clemson shot 8 for 16 from three-point range in the first half, taking advantage of a Maryland defense that clearlyl was preoccupied with limiting the effectiveness of Booker. The Terrapins failed in both regards, as Booker tallied 11 first half points to compliment Clemson's outside shooting. You can't really blame Maryland for its initial defensive approach, though. After all, Booker is one of the top frontcourt players in the ACC and Clemson entered the game shooting 29.3 percent from three-point range.

2) First half offense. Sure, Maryland shot 50.0 percent from the field before the intermission, but its offense compiled those points erratically. In the opening minutes, it seemed as though Sean Mosley might be the only Maryland player capable of scoring all night.Then Mosley got quiet for a while and Eric Hayes stepped up to fill the scoring void. For so many of Maryland's ACC games at Comcast Center this season, the Terrapins have been a fluid, dominant force. That team-wide rhythm wasn't there in the game's early stages tonight. By the end of the contest, it most certainly had returned.

3) Second chance points. Because Clemson was able to control the boards for much of the night, the Tigers were able to score a number of times on second chance opportunities. Clemson won the rebounding battle, 39-32, and that included a 19-11 edge on the offensive glass. The Tigers outscored Maryland in second chance points, 19-11, on the night.

By Steve Yanda  |  February 25, 2010; 12:40 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Terps advance team narrative in win over Clemson

Comments

I don't fault the Terps D in the first half. Yeah the results weren't pretty, but I credit Clemson's offense. They were unconscious. Even when they did miss 3s, which was rarely, Booker was dunking the misses on our heads. Eventually they came right back down to their averages and our defense appeared improved.

Posted by: Hobes | February 25, 2010 2:13 AM | Report abuse

No offense to Vasquez, who picked it up in the 2nd half, but Jordan Williams played like an upperclassman the entire game in keeping Booker under control while establishing an inside game for the Terps.

Posted by: dc_attorney | February 25, 2010 7:00 AM | Report abuse

This is odd: Here is a link where you can vote for GV for the Bob Cousy award. One vote every 24 hours per e-mail address. Surprised we have not seen this on the blog yet.

http://cousyaward.com/vote.php

Not sure how much the popular vote counts towards the award.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | February 25, 2010 7:54 AM | Report abuse

dc_attorney -

can't argue against 8 assists in the first half. stomachahe notwithstanding, a lot of the early scoring by SM was off of a GV feed. It was bizarre how long he played while only scoring two points. the mopping of the floor was classic and has made sure (for once) that MD highlights are shown earlier on Sportcenter.

Agree that JW is playing like an upperclassmen. The only freshmen big I've seen develop that fast or faster are Brian Williams (Bison Dele) and Joe Smith. He played a smart efficient game. Great team effort. And no one else has 88 points against Clemson this year (in wins or losses). I was beginning to think the tigers owned us.

BEAT VT.

Regards -

-hgr

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | February 25, 2010 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Hayes is hitting ~46% of his 3 pt FGs. That's crazy....and would be a MD record if the season ended today. 3-3 last night. Sniper.

Posted by: fushezzi | February 25, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

HGR,

I'd also add Jerod Mustaf to that list of fast developing bigs. He should have stayed more than 2 seasons.

I loved the fact that Jerai Grant was in foul trouble all night. It's always nice when someone who killed you in one game can be a non-factor in the next.

Posted by: mydogsnameisdixon | February 25, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Totally agree with everyone on the Jordan Williams perspective. Remember guys that we lose Vasquez and Hayes next year and for our program to be a long term success again, we need some continuity and I think Williams will grow to become such a leader. Hopefully he doesn't develop too fast and stays for 4 years --- I predict his Junior year will be an outstanding one.

Posted by: GtownG | February 25, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

This was GW's game! He really kept that team focused after a very rough first half. Even a nice job to get it back to 9 at the half.

GV didn't have it on the shooting side for much of the game, but he didn't let it ruin his game. Very strong in setting up his teammates and pretty good ball control. Huge play near the end and a big three earlier, but perhaps the highlight was the mop job. That was sweet and who in the world didn't know he wasn't going to let the game slip away after that. He certainly wasn't going to miss a foul shot.

Big props to Mosely, Williams and Hayes and very solid D all around after the bad first half.

Sucking it up and showing that poise after being down by so much midway through the first half... that's a very, very good sign.

VTech is going to be hungry and pissed after their terrible performance in Chestnut Hill tonight.

Our chance to really show what we are made of... just like we did tonight!

Posted by: petecard | February 25, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Gigantic win that most likely moves the Terp's into lock status. I can't say much more about Jordan Williams that hasn't already been said but the kid is a stud and is growing into a leadership role as a freshman.

I also think getting Mosley out of his funk before we hit the NCAA tourney was key. I hope he can give us 10-12 points away from home on Saturday against Vag Tech.

Posted by: lavar609 | February 25, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Thank you to Cory Alexander or whoever was with Tim Brant last night calling the game for waiting til Hayes was on the free throw line trying to tie it up and stating "Well Hayes is lights out from the line shooting 86% this season and will likely finish with the school record...." followed by the sounds of CLANK, CLANK. THEN saying "Well I guess I gave him the announcer jinx"

Posted by: wombledc | February 25, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

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