- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 10, 2010

COLLEGE PARK, Md. | With Maryland desperately needing a basket to avoid being upset at home, coach Gary Williams elected to put the ball in the hands of a freshman playing the second game of his college career.

Pe’Shon Howard validated the decision, hitting a short jumper with three seconds left to give the Terrapins a 75-74 comeback victory over the College of Charleston on Wednesday night in the 2K Sports Classic.

Maryland (2-0) trailed 68-60 with 8:36 left but held the Cougars (0-1) without a field goal the rest of the way. After Howard hit his shot from the right side, Andrew Goudelock had his 3-point attempt clang off the rim as the buzzer sounded.

“We were very fortunate to win that game,” Williams said.

With the Terps down by one with 16 seconds remaining, Williams called a play that was designed for Howard to dribble toward the basket and look for the Maryland big men underneath.

Jordan Williams was covered. So was Dino Gregory. That left Howard no option but to go with Plan C.

“I had to take a tough shot,” Howard said. “I felt good when I shot it, and it went in.”

Despite having a veteran backcourt at his disposal, Gary Williams opted to call upon Howard, a 6-foot-3 guard out of Los Angeles.

“I think it’s very important that players know you have confidence in them no matter what situation it is,” Gary Williams said. “If Pe’Shon is going to play in the backcourt for us, I can’t take him out of the game because it’s a pressure situation. It worked. He scored.”

Maryland senior forward Cliff Tucker said of Howard: “Coach had confidence in him. We all had confidence in him. I just told him, ‘Just make sure you’re under control and don’t force anything.’ He had a good look and he won the game for us.”

Jordan Williams had 26 points and 15 rebounds for the Terrapins, who went 5 for 18 at the foul line. Tucker scored 14 points and Howard had 14 on 6-for-7 shooting.

Maryland had 18 turnovers after committing 29 against Seattle in the opener of the tournament benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer.

Goudelock had 27 points and 10 rebounds, and Donavan Monroe scored 15 points.

“I give Maryland a lot of credit,” Cougars coach Bobby Cremins said. “They never gave up and Howard made a great shot. Goudelock had a good look at the end and that’s a shot he can really hit.”

Maryland trailed 72-66 with 6:28 to go before both teams went cold from the field. Howard and Williams each went 1 for 2 at the line — the game’s only points until Monroe made two free throws for Charleston with 2:41 left.

Tucker scored on a drive, Howard drilled a jumper from the corner and Williams again made one of two free throws to get the Terrapins to 74-73 with 55 seconds to play, setting the stage for the wild finish.

There were five ties in the second half before Howard nailed a 3-pointer to put Maryland up 51-48. After Monroe made two free throws for Charleston, Howard scored on a drive and Williams added a layup for a 55-50 lead.

Goudelock then scored 14 points in an 18-5 run that put the Cougars up by eight.

But Charleston’s only points after that came at the line.

“It was a great learning experience,” Cremins said.

During a first half in which Maryland missed its first six free throws, failed to make a 3-pointer and had nine turnovers, the Terrapins needed a late 9-0 run to forge a halftime tie at 37.

Nether team led by more than four points until an alley-oop dunk by Jeremy Simmons and a 3-pointer by Andrew Lawrence sparked a 7-0 spurt that put the Cougars ahead 23-16. Minutes later, Goudelock hit 24-footer to make it 30-22.

After Maryland got within four, Trent Wiedeman scored on a drive and Goudelock again connected from beyond the arc, forcing Gary Williams to call a timeout with his team facing a nine-point deficit.

Maryland then blanked Charleston over the final 2½ minutes.


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