Is it just me, or would this have been Maryland's most crushing loss of the season? Maryland was so good against Clemson until about the seven-minute mark. That's been the bewitching hour for the young Terps -- a time when the team sometimes seems to buckle as it learns how to close out games. Finishing games is an art all its own, right? There's a special emphasis on basketball IQ and making free throws.
Against the Tigers, Maryland survived and got its first win on an opponent's home court. Afterward, coach Mark Turgeon and the players could finally exhale. They seemed as relieved as they did happy.
"We got the big lead and then at the 7:33 timeout, I told our guys we had been great for 33 minutes but we have to play 40. "In typical fashion we missed a lot of free throws to make it interesting for everybody.'
Turgeon said Maryland got tentative near the end against Clemson's 1-3-1 zone.
It would have been painful for the Terps to lose on a night when:
*Terrell Stoglin played one of his most efficient games of the season, shooting 9-for-11. He's usually a top scorer, but against Clemson he seemed to have a feel for when to penetrate and when to pull up. He also had four steals and four rebounds. "I trusted my teammates more this game," Stoglin said, repeating a mantra that Turgeon often repeats about unselfish play.
*Sean Mosley scored his 1000th point. He scored 16 points and had six assists in 34 minutes. He said he had never won at Clemson in his career until Tuesday night.
*The Terps held the Tigers to 34.9 percent shooting. Clemson's senior leader, Andre Young, was 5-for-13 from the floor.
With 10.7 seconds left, Young stepped to the line for three shots with the Tigers trailing 61-58. He missed the first two and made the third.
Consider that Young had converted 61 of 69 free-throw attempts entering Tuesday night. At 88.4 percent, he was the ACC's percentage leader.
"I was praying the whole time," Stoglin said. "I really didn't think he was going to miss."
*Turgeon said point guard Pe'Shon Howard seemed a little bit off. Howard shot 1-for-5 and appeared to narrowly miss a technical foul when he showed his frustration in the first half. "He just was sluggish tonight," Turgeon said.
*Mosley acknowledged he should not have caught Clemson's desperation inbounds pass at the end that veered out of bounds. "I need to be more aware," the senior said.