- The Washington Times - Friday, March 11, 2005

Maryland finally managed to shut down Clemson center Sharrod Ford. Too bad the Terrapins forgot about his teammates.

Ford scored only four points with eight rebounds in the Tigers’ 84-72 opening-round victory yesterday at MCI Center. After he averaged 24.5 points and 10 rebounds in Clemson’s two previous victories over Maryland, the Terps focused on the Suitland native. Maryland double-teamed him but too often left another shooter unchallenged. Clemson converted 11 of 25 3-pointers.

“We didn’t always play smart,” Maryland coach Gary Williams said. “We were trying to double down on Ford and rotate to the shooters.”

Clemson coach Oliver Purnell had said Ford would be the key to beating Maryland. Instead, the Tigers rolled their offense away from him, with Ford taking only two first-half shots.

“When we were getting off the bus, we were looking to get the ball to Sharrod,” Purnell said. “The big thing was, Sharrod kept his poise and was able to find Shawan Robinson [24 points].”

Sis, boom, bah!

Clemson players were incensed over a Maryland pep rally scheduled for last night. Terrapins fans planned to meet at a District hotel to get ready for rival North Carolina, presupposing a victory over Clemson.

Williams said he didn’t know about the pep rally but thought it was no reason for Clemson to get upset.

“So what — tell them the senior prom is scheduled, too,” Williams retorted.

Lone District player

Miami’s Antoine Mayhand, a former standout at H.D. Woodson High School, is the ACC’s only player from the District.

The two-time All-DCIAA guard averaged 27 points as a prep senior. Woodson was 93-12 over Mayhand’s four seasons, with two city title game losses.

“He loved to win,” said former Woodson coach Keino Wilson. “He had a very good attitude, good team player.”

Mayhand averaged only 2.5 minutes in 10 games this season. He averaged half a point as a reserve guard.

Purnell at home

Clemson coach Oliver Purnell said it was only a coincidence Lefty Driesell was seated directly behind him in the third row. Purnell, a native of Maryland’s Eastern Shore, served on the Lefthander’s staff at Maryland in 1985-86 and spent the following two seasons on Bob Wade’s staff with the Terrapins before getting his first head coaching job at Radford.

Purnell made another mark on Maryland yesterday, likely knocking the Terps out of the NCAA tournament. The unheralded Tigers swept all three games from Maryland this season.

“I almost consider myself being from here,” said Purnell, who grew up in Berlin, Md., and played at Old Dominion. “My family and friends are here. My wife’s brother worked at Maryland. I recruit from here all the time. Winning up at Maryland was special. This is more special.”

Bethel back at MCI

Georgetown transfer Tony Bethel was back on his old homecourt as a player for N.C. State. The 6-foot-2 junior from Fort Washington, who played prep ball under Stu Vetter at Montrose Christian, was a two-year starter for the Hoyas before leaving after averaging 10.8 points in 2002-03.

Bethel now starts for the Wolfpack, where he was averaging 8.4 points going into yesterday.

“[MCI Center] looks much different with the ACC set-up,” said Bethel, who averaged a team-high 3.6 assists in his final season on the Hilltop.

TV ratings rise

Fox Sports Net averaged 483,000 homes for the ACC’s Sunday night television package, which totaled 19 games. It was the highest ratings in the four years the ACC has played the Sunday night series and a 2 percent increase from last season.

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