- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 3, 2001


CLEMSON, S.C. In a shootout that would have made Billy the Kid proud, Maryland was the last team standing after the smoke cleared at Littlejohn Coliseum.

The 17th-ranked Terps showed their impressive depth and eventually wore out Clemson 104-92 in the ACC opener for both teams. Maryland won its ninth straight as it went over the 100-point mark for a fourth consecutive game, a new program record. The Terps survived despite a white-hot performance from Clemson guard Will Solomon, who poured in 32 points.

"We scored 100 points the last three games," said guard Juan Dixon, one of three Terps to score at least 22 points. "We didn't think we would do that here. But we had to because we didn't play any defense."

The Terps survived because they had enough rifles to overcome Clemson's cannon. Maryland center Lonny Baxter had 24, including 17 in the first half. Terence Morris broke out of his slump to finish with a season-high 26 points, including 16 in the second half, when he located his missing jumper and and drew fouls powering his way to the basket.

"When Lonny came out of the game in foul trouble [in the second half], I knew somebody had to step up and put the ball in the hole," said Morris, who had averaged only 10 points over the previous nine games. "I just tried to take Lonny's place and do what I could."

The game was filled with wild momentum swings before the Terps (10-3, 1-0 ACC) staved off the final rally by Clemson (9-5, 0-1). The Tigers cut the lead to 83-82 midway through the second half on a 3-pointer by Solomon, but the Terps answered with an 8-1 run. Two free throws by Drew Nicholas gave Maryland a 92-83 lead.

Morris finished a play with jam for a 96-89 after Danny Miller saved the ball from going out of bounds and dished backward, but Tony Stockman came right back with a 3 to cut it to four with 1:51 left. The Terps then scored the final eight points to post their sixth consecutive win over Clemson. Morris added two free throws on Maryland's next possession to make it 98-92, and Mike Mardesich sank two shots to make it an eight-point advantage.

Morris made eight of 16 field goals and had a game-high eight rebounds. The preseason All-American took over down the stretch, and the Terps couldn't be happier to see the 6-foot-9 senior working his way out of his early-season slump.

"That was the best he played in a year in the second half," Maryland coach Gary Williams said. "He asserted himself. He knew we were in foul trouble with Lonny and Steve [Blake]. That's the best body language I've seen from him in a long time."

The second half came after a furious first stanza that saw Maryland take a 59-56 lead into the locker room. The Terps shot 62 percent and made six of 10 3-pointers in the period, but couldn't pull away as Clemson shot 54 percent and made six of 12 3s.

Solomon had 19 points at the break, including three of four 3-pointers. Dixon had 18 points for Maryland on seven of nine shooting, including both his 3-pointers. Baxter made five of six shots and all seven of his free throws for 17 at the break.

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