- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 21, 2002

CLEMSON, S.C. Juan was worth the wait.
The Maryland Terrapins were sluggish coming off their mammoth win over Duke during the first half of last night's game at Clemson. The second-ranked Terps trailed and couldn't shoot straight in the first half and were beaten on the boards by the unheralded Tigers.
The second half was a completely different story as Dixon got untracked and his teammates followed suit in an 84-68 victory at Littlejohn Coliseum. Maryland, which took over first place in the league with Sunday's win over then-top-ranked Duke, looked shaky before the outside shooters found their mark after the break. All-American Dixon made consecutive 3-pointers to break open a close game, and finished with 21 points.
Maryland matched its best 25-game record with a 22-3 mark, and can improve to 23-3 for the first time when No. 19 Wake Forest visits Cole Field House Sunday.
The Terps improved to 12-1 in league play for the first time by winning their ninth consecutive league game. Maryland is pursuing its first ACC regular-season title in 22 seasons and has a full-game lead over Duke.
"In the first half, we just couldn't hit shots," said Dixon, whose team shot 31-percent and made 2-of-11 treys before the break. "My eyes lit up when I saw they were in zone. I think they disrespected us playing zone the whole game. We just started making shots in the second half."
Dixon, who made just 2-of-7 shots in the first half, led an offensive explosion in the second half as the Terps decimated Clemson's 2-3 zone with long-distance shooting. The slender sniper moved into fifth place on Maryland all-time scoring list with 2,013 points and became the only player in NCAA history to amass 2,000 points, 300 steals and 200 3-pointers last night. The senior needed eight points to reach that position, and did it early in the second half on a 10-foot runner from the left side that gave Maryland a 42-39 advantage.
"That's quite an amazing achievement," Maryland coach Gary Williams said. "He plays hard, and he's been that way for years. He has taught me about patience because there are some things he does that drive me absolutely crazy. He really got us going tonight."
Maryland made 12-of-14 shots to open the second half, including 5-of-6 3-pointers. The pull-away came when Maryland scored 11 straight points to build a 63-49 lead. Drew Nicholas started the run with a deep 3-pointer before Dixon delivered two treys from the right corner. Dixon fed Baxter for the final points, a layup that gave the Terps a 14-point advantage.
The Terps won for a ninth straight time over Clemson (12-15, 3-11 ACC), who suffered its 10th loss in 11 games.
"I'm just glad to have a record at Maryland to know I've done something here," said Blake, a junior with 658 career assists.
The Terps took the lead for good on Steve Blake's trey from the right wing to make it 45-43 with 15:51 remaining. A block by Lonny Baxter (10 points, 12 rebounds) led to a fastbreak layup by Dixon, and Chris Wilcox finished the six-point run with a jump-hook to make it 49-43.
The Terps appeared to be off to a good start and built a 17-11 lead on a baseline jumper by Byron Mouton before the breakdown that saw them score two points over the next six minutes. The Tigers scored nine straight and took a 20-18 lead on a 3-pointer from Tony Stockman.
Maryland showed effects of the Duke win early with a scoring lull as the Tigers used a 22-6 run to take a nine-point lead. The Tigers took advantage of offensive rebounds and timely shooting and built a 33-25 lead after Edward Scott stole a lazy pass from Blake, he raced downcourt and sank a 6-foot jumper.
After Scott made it 33-25, Gary Williams immediately called timeout. Maryland responded and cut into the lead with a fastbreak layup by Drew Nicholas. A short shot off a power move from Ryan Randle cut it to 33-29, before another transition layup by Nicholas. Jamar McKnight's in-air putback just before the buzzer gave Clemson a four-point lead at the break.
Maryland shot 31 percent in the period and made just 2 of 11 (18 percent) 3-pointers. The Tigers shot 37.5 percent, with Scott, a 6-foot point guard,totaling eight points, seven rebounds, two steals and two assists.

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