Clemson broke a three game ACC losing streak Sunday afternoon at Littlejohn Coliseum with a hard fought 62-53 win over league leading Maryland. The loss ends a four game winning streak for the Terps. The Tigers led by seven at halftime and and pushed the lead to 11 within the first five minutes of the second half. The Terps fought back and took their only lead of the second half at 48-46 on a layup by Eric Hayes with 7:03 to play. Clemson led by one with 3:23 to play when Trevor Booker hit his first three pointer in ACC competition this season. That put the Tigers up by four and delivered the knockout punch to the Terps.
AUDIO: Oliver Purnell
Both teams clamped down defensively and neither could get much of an offensive flow going for most of the game. Clemson shot 32 percent for the game, the Terps 35 percent. Clemson has not shot this poorly and won a game since the 1997 NCAA Tournament. And Maryland had 26 turnovers to Clemson’s 21.
AUDIO: Gary Williams
The Tigers won despite playing their second straight game without point guard Demontez Stitt who continued to rest his sprained foot. And they won without a big offensive night from leading scorer Trevor Booker who was held to just ten points though he did snare 16 rebounds, one off his career high. But junior forward Jerai Grant stepped up offensively and recorded a career high 18 points while also grabbing a career high 12 rebounds.
AUDIO: Jerai Grant
Andre Young added 12 points and three assists. Without Stitt, Young had to play 37 minutes after going 39 minutes in the loss to Boston College last time out.
AUDIO: Andre Young
AUDIO: Tanner Smith
The win is the 48th in ACC games for Oliver Purnell at Clemson moving him into second place in that category 11 behind Cliff Ellis. The Tigers have now beaten Maryland in seven of their last nine meetings. With the win the Tigers improve to 16-6 overall and 4-4 in the ACC. Maryland falls to 14-6 overall and 4-2 in league play. The Tigers are off until they play at Virginia Tech Saturday.