Clemson ambushes Maryland
In a highly anticipated contest between the Maryland Terrapins and the Clemson Tigers basketball programs, the Tigers were able to sink their teeth in early to give Clemson the 67 – 51 victory.
It was only the second win for the Atlantic Coast Conference in their showdown versus the Big 10 this season, but it was a convincing victory for Clemson as they held a lead from tipoff. Aamir Simms led the ambush with sixteen points and eight rebounds and John Newman III had his best game of the season with twelve points and three boards for the Tigers.
Neither team started off clean from the field leaving the score tied 2 – 2 five minutes into the game, but Clemson started finding more consistency on the offensive end while Maryland looked lost the entire first half. Simms was constantly double teamed on the block in an attempt to keep him contained, but he was able to distribute the basketball to his fellow Tigers and they found their way to easier shot selections near the rim giving Clemson the 38 – 15 halftime lead. It was only the second time in ten years Maryland has not scored more than seventeen points in the first half.
Maryland attempted to slowly and steadily crawl back from their disfunctional start behind Donta Scott and his eleven points, but these turtles could not find their storybook ending as these Tigers did not stop slashing their way towards the basket all night.
As a team, Maryland looked out of their element away from the Xfinity Center. Entering the game Maryland had six players averaging nine points or more and five players shooting over fifty percent from three-point range. The validity of those percentages was questioned as the Terps had faced limited early competition and have only played at home so far this season. Against those opponents Eric Ayala was running offensive sets that led to open looks towards the basket giving Maryland more favorable shot selections than they found at Littlejohn Arena.
Tonight, playing a power five opponent for the first time this season and away from Xfinity, Maryland played outside of their offensive sets and the individual efforts by Darryl Morsell and Andrew Wiggins to try and jumpstart the offense led the Terps into several turnovers and pressured shot attempts. Maryland shot forty percent from the field and six of eighteen from beyond the arc for the game. Both statistics were much lower than their season average. Only Donta Scott managed to score in double figures, and the Terps turned the ball over fourteen times. After the game Mark Turgeon, when talking about the offense, said “We were just standing watching a guy dribble.”
Coach Turgeon and his staff will look to improve their efforts as the competition does not get any easier for Maryland as they have a ranked Rutgers team scheduled for this Monday at Xfinity Center 6:00 pm.