Clemson dropped its third straight ACC road game of the season Saturday falling at Maryland 79-77. The Tigers have lost at Florida State, North Carolina and Maryland this season. They had chances to win all three games but offensive woes down the stretch in each game cost the Tigers.
Maryland’s Jordan Williams set a school record with his 13th consecutive double-double, getting 16 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Terrapins. He broke the mark held by Len Elmore, who had 12 straight double-doubles for Maryland in 1974.
“It’s definitely cool,” Williams said. “I never came out here expecting to get a record in my sophomore year, or at all. You just kind of come here and try to do what you can. I think it’s a lot sweeter getting a W with that record, you know what I mean?”
Williams, a 6-foot-10 forward, has reached double figures in both scoring and rebounding in 17 of 19 games this season _ including, of course, the last 13.
“That’s amazing, when you think about it,” Terps coach Gary Williams said. “He works and gets it done.”
Cliff Tucker scored 15 for Maryland, and Adrian Bowie and Terrell Stoglin each had 13. Playing their second game in three days, the Terrapins (12-7, 2-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) never trailed after an early 21-3 run made it 26-13.
“It was real important,” Tucker said of the win. “We had a meeting last night and we said we were kind of at a crossroads right now, where our season could go either good or bad. We did a great job, and hopefully we can keep it going.”
Demontez Stitt led Clemson (13-6, 2-3) with 20 points, Jerai Grant had 15 and Andre Young added 14. The Tigers have lost two in a row following an eight-game winning streak.
“It’s gut-wrenching because your team is playing well,” Clemson coach Brad Browness said. “It’s hard to have the ball here at Maryland with two seconds left with a chance to win. We haven’t been able to finish it. We’re just not quite there.”
After a 3-pointer by Stitt got Clemson to 76-75 with 14.7 seconds to go, Sean Mosley made two foul shots for the Terrapins. The Tigers then inexplicably went inside and got a dunk from Devin Booker off a pass from Young with 2.1 seconds remaining, and Tucker sank one of two at the line for the final margin.
“I was hoping (Young) would at least shoot it or kick it back to me, but it was a game-time decision,” Stitt said. “He just threw it into Devon. I guess he thought we had a little more time.”
A final shot by Stitt from around midcourt banged off the backboard.
Clemson played without forward Tanner Smith, who sprained his knee in Tuesday night’s loss at North Carolina. Smith was replaced by 6-foot-6 junior Bryan Narclisse, who fouled out after scoring four points in his third career start.
Maryland led 49-41 and 54-46 early in the second half but couldn’t pull away.
It was 66-60 before Young hit a 3-pointer. Tucker struck from behind the arc for Maryland, and after Stitt sank a 3-pointer, Williams made two free throws to make it 71-66 with 1:49 left.
Maryland went 24 for 48 from the floor, the first team to shoot at least 50 percent against Clemson this season.
The victory enabled Maryland to avoid a third straight ACC home loss for the first time since 1993. The Terrapins were coming off a humbling 74-57 defeat against Virginia Tech, their worst home loss in 12 years.
Gary Williams used his fifth different starting lineup this season, calling upon freshman forward Haukur Palsson to make his first college start.
“I just thought Hawk would give us energy at the start of the game,” Williams said. “We had 36 hours since the end of the Virginia Tech game to figure out a way to get things fired up a little bit.”
The Terrapins went 6 for 11 from 3-point range in taking a 40-36 halftime lead.
“In the first half we gave up too many points,” Stitt said.
Maryland missed seven of its first eight shots and trailed 10-5 before Bowie made a driving layup to ignite an 8-1 run. After a basket by Stitt made it 13-all, the Terrapins peeled off 13 straight points, including successive 3-pointers by Mosley, Stoglin and Tucker.