- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 26, 2003

CLEMSON, S.C. Maryland scored its fewest points in eight years, made only one-third of its shots from the floor and committed 20 turnovers. But all these negatives didn't prevent the Terrapins from winning their third straight game yesterday.
The No. 12 Terps used a 15-0 run late in the first half to outlast hapless Clemson 52-47 in a game so ugly that some of the unfortunate 10,500 eyewitnesses at Littlejohn Coliseum were yawning.
It was Maryland's lowest-scoring victory since a 42-41 win over West Virginia in 1985 and its fewest points since a 50-47 loss to Massachusetts in 1995. Guard Drew Nicholas' 14 points led Maryland, but they came in two short bursts. The Terps shot only 33.9 percent overall and were just 5-for-20 on 3-point attempts.
"I'm sure it was painful to watch," Nicholas said. "A lot of other teams wouldn't have been able to put together an effort to win. We won, and we're getting out of here."
The faster the better.
Maryland (12-4, 5-1) remained atop the ACC heading into a three-game homestand beginning Thursday night against N.C. State. Clemson (11-4, 1-4) lost its second straight and fourth of six since starting 9-0.
Maryland trailed briefly in the second half before forward Calvin McCall's 3-pointer gave the Terps a 30-27 lead with 14:33 remaining. Clemson scored only four baskets in a second half that included an 8:15 drought from the field. The Tigers converted 15 of 21 free throws in the second half, which kept them from totally collapsing.
"At no time have I ever felt as helpless as when we turned the ball over a few times during the one stretch in the second half," Clemson coach Larry Shyatt said. "We self-inflicted some wounds."
Maryland typically has gained big early leads this season, but the Terps never seemed in sync against the Tigers. There was a steady stream of early turnovers no matter the lineup. Maryland simply outlasted Clemson rather than outplaying the Tigers.
"It feels almost like an NCAA game survive and advance," forward Tahj Holden said. "Luckily for us, time ran out."
Holden grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds, but the big men couldn't convert underneath. Center Ryan Randle scored just three points and Holden four. Meanwhile, McCall scored eight points and freshman forward Travis Garrison seven.
"People say it wasn't pretty, but there were two teams really working hard," Maryland coach Gary Williams said. "There were no easy points for anybody."
Maryland couldn't solve Clemson's zone for the first 15 minutes until it switched to a pressing defense that helped the transition game. Suddenly, Maryland rallied from a 21-9 deficit to a 24-21 lead with 1:23 remaining in the half. The constant pressure unnerved Clemson as 10 Terps collected steals.
"We knew we had a chance because we knew how bad we were playing and we were still lingering around," Nicholas said.
Maryland missed its first eight shots, including six 3-pointers, before Holden nearly jumped into the hoop to convert one 4:58 into the game. The Terps closed to 11-7 before scoring only two points over the next seven minutes. Williams was so frustrated with the sloppy play that Randle was the only starter playing during a two-minute stretch midway through the half.
The Terps finally ignited on McCall's short jumper with 4:01 remaining. Garrison followed with two baskets underneath, and Nicholas' contributed two 3-pointers and a tip-in of his own miss for a 24-21 lead.
Clemson opened the second half with a 4-2 mini-run for a 27-26 lead with 16:10 remaining. McCall countered with a free throw and a 3-pointer to spark Maryland's 9-0 streak for a 35-27 edge. The Terps stretched it to 46-37 with 5:28 left. Clemson closed to 50-47 with 1:08 remaining before failing to score again.

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