Maryland survives Clemson, 64-62

Maryland forward James Padgett tries to retain control of the ball while being defended by Clemson guards Andre Young (11) and Devin Coleman (15) during the second half.
Maryland forward James Padgett tries to retain control of the ball while being defended by Clemson guards Andre Young (11) and Devin Coleman (15) during the second half. (Joshua S. Kelly-US PRESSWIRE, US PRESSWIRE)

CLEMSON, S.C. — On the night he eclipsed 1,000 career points, Sean Mosley desperately hoped his milestone would be accompanied by the road victory that had eluded the senior leader and his teammates all season.

Maryland entered at 0-4 in road games, and Mosley (St.Frances) -- making his last swing through Atlantic Coast Conference land -- has taken to making bold pronouncements lately to try to cajole maximum effort from his team. He predicted before departing for Clemson that Maryland's road woes would end at Littlejohn Coliseum.

Mosley's forecast proved correct as he scored 16 points and Terrell Stoglin scored 27 on 9-for-11 shooting in a 64-62 Maryland victory. After holding a 14-point lead, the Terps survived a late Clemson rally, thanks partly to the Tigers' free-throw misses at the end.

The outcome left Maryland players and coaches wearing smiles of relief. Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said the team no longer has "to listen to everybody say we're going after our first road win. Got that behind us."

Maryland got a little luck in the form of an unusual play at the end.

Trailing 64-62 with 1.7 seconds left, the Tigers needed to go the length of the court. Milton Jennings' pass was intercepted by Mosley three-quarters of the way down the court , and it looked for a moment as if the Maryland senior had caught the ball in bounds, then stepped on the sideline. That would have given Clemson a final chance near its basket. But the officials ruled that Mosley had caught the ball out of bounds.

Clemson was awarded the ball again -- but again from the far side of the court. This time, Jennings passed to senior guard Andre Young (15 points), whose desperation heave hit the side of the rim as the buzzer sounded.

"I didn't see the sideline," Mosley said. "I've got to be more aware."

Earlier, Young had been fouled by Pe'Shon Howard while shooting a 3-pointer with Clemson trailing 61-58 and 10.7 seconds left. Young -- who entered as the ACC's free-throw accuracy leader at 88.4 percent -- missed two of three foul shots.

"I was praying the whole time," Stoglin said. "I really didn't think he was going to miss."

After losing at Miami in double overtime in their last road game, the Terps (14-9, 4-5 ACC) had reason to believe they were ready to break through. Clemson, which had lost its past two games, shot 34.9 percent.

Mosley scored his 1,000th point on a foul shot in the opening minutes. The swingman -- whom Turgeon calls his "rock" because of his leadership and work ethic -- didn't want his achievement to feel empty.

Maryland led by as many seven points early. Two 3-pointers by Mosley sandwiched around one by Howard pushed Maryland's advantage to 46-32, its largest lead of the game.

"Going out with a bang," Mosley said. "I never won at Clemson [before Tuesday]."

But a 3-pointer by Jennings and a dunk by Devin Booker cut the margin to 56-52 with 3:38 remaining, and Maryland's lead was just 59-58 after two free throws by Booker with a little more than a minute left.

Alex Len's layup pushed the Terps' lead back to 61-58 before Young's missed free throws.

"It hurts when a kid like Andre misses his chance because you know how much work he's put into it," Clemson coach Brad Brownell said. "He's not going to be OK tomorrow. You want guys like that because it means he cares. You just hate it for them."

Maryland had lost five of its past six games entering Tuesday night. The Terps needed a win to pull within a game of. 500 in the conference and to demonstrate -- to the ACC and themselves -- that they are on an upward arc.

The Tigers were equally desperate after having lost their past two conference games, both on the road.

Clemson (11-12, 3-6) was led by Young, who is tops in the ACC in steals and whose defense contributed to nine Maryland turnovers in the first half.

Maryland led 26-22 after a first half in which the Tigers shot 32.7 percent, including 0-for-7 on 3-point attempts.

The Terps were led early by Stoglin, who had had 13 points at the half. He seemed to be heeding his coach's admonitions to penetrate into the lane rather than settling for jumpers.

"You can just see we're growing up," Turgeon said. "That was our next step."