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Men’s Basketball Vs. Maryland Game Notes

Men’s Basketball Vs. Maryland Game Notes

Feb. 23, 2004

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First Meeting this YearMaryland Downs Clemson 65-52 January 25, 2004 Clemson, SC-Maryland’s defense held Clemson to three points over a 10-minute and 58-second time period in the second half, leading the Terps to a 65-52 victory at Clemson. Maryland improved to 11-5 overall and 2-3 in the ACC, while Clemson fell to 8-9 overall, 1-5 in the ACC.

Clemson was led in scoring by Shawan Robinson, who was making his first career start. Robinson scored 15 points on 6-10 shooting. Robinson entered the game sixth in Clemson history in three-point goal percentage and he enhanced that 41 percent figure with a 2-4 performance from behind the arc. Robinson added three rebounds and three assists in 33 minutes of play.

Three Tigers added seven points apiece. Sharrod Ford, Clemson’s leading scorer over the course of the season, had seven points and four rebounds, while Chey Christie added seven points on 3-7 shooting. All seven of Christie’s points came in the first half. Akin Akingbala added seven points for the Tigers on 3-5 shooting.

Maryland was led by John Gilchrist with 15 points, five rebounds and five assists. Nik Caner-Medley, who was coming off a 21-point outing against Duke, added 13 points, while Chris McCrary and Travis Garrison scored 11 points apiece for the Terps.

Rebounding was a key statistic in the contest. Maryland won the rebounding 37-36, but held a 24-16 lead in the second half. Both teams entered the game among the ACC’s top rebounding teams, as Clemson was second and Maryland third in the league behind Duke.

The first half was close throughout as there were 14 lead changes and five ties. No team had a lead of more than four points. Clemson scored the last eight points of the half to take a 31-27 lead, much to the delight of the fans who braved an ice storm to attend the game. Clemson was led in the first half by Christie’s seven points on 3-5 shooting, and Akingbala’s six points on 3-4 shooting. Clemson had a 20-13 lead in rebounding in the first half and did not allow Maryland to score a three-point goal (0-4). Clemson’s defense forced 10 first half Maryland turnovers.

Clemson went on a 4-0 run to start the second half on field goals by Olu Babalola and Robinson and led 35-27, completing a 12-0 run for the Tigers. Clemson still led 38-31 when Robinson hit a three-point goal with 18:25 left.

Clemson led 43-38 with 13:38 left on a layup and free throw by reserve guard Vernon Hamilton. But, Maryland then turned up its full-court pressure and went on a 15-0 run to take a 53-43 lead. It is still the longest scoring run of the year by a Clemson opponent. Robinson cut the lead to seven at 53-46 with 7:18 remaining on another three-pointer.

But, that would be Clemson’s only points between the 13:38 mark and the 2:40 mark, a 25-3 stretch in favor of the Terps. Clemson was 1-15 from the field for the 10:58 time period. A jumper by Sharrod Ford with 2:40 left ended the drought and cut the margin to 15, but Clemson could not get any closer than 13 points the rest of the way.

Maryland forced 20 Clemson turnovers, but the Tigers forced 17 Maryland turnovers so there was just a -3 turnover margin for the evening. But, Maryland scored 27 points off Clemson turnovers, while the Tigers scored just 15 off Maryland turnovers. That 12-point differential was near the 13-point final score margin.

“The rebounding was the key stat of the game,” said Clemson head coach Oliver Purnell after the game. “We did a fairly good job against Maryland defensively when they were in their set offense. But, we gave up too many second shots in the second half. And, we let them get out on the break a few times and score in transition. We were +7 in rebound margin in the first half and led by four. In the second half we were -8 in rebounding and were out-scored by 17. It was the difference in the game.”

Clemson vs. Maryland Series

Maryland holds an 83-42 lead in the series with Clemson. TheTerps have dominated the series in College Park, winning 48 of the56 games. The Tigers did win there over a top 12 Maryland teamseven years ago (1996-97), and also won on Maryland’s Senior Day in1992-93. Clemson holds a 31-25 lead in games played in Clemson, andthe two teams are now tied 18-18 in Littlejohn Coliseum. That iswith Maryland winning six consecutive games at Clemson. Marylandhas won 12 straight against the Tigers, including both meetings thelast five years and the first meeting this year. Larry Shyatt was0-10 in his five years as Clemson coach against Maryland. The Terpshave beaten Clemson by double digits seven of the last 12 games,but by as many as 20 points just once. Last year Maryland won byfive in the game at Clemson and by 39 in the game at Maryland. Theclosest Clemson has come to beating Maryland during this 12-gamelosing streak came in 1998-99 when Maryland beat Clemson inovertime, 81-79. Andrius Jurkunas hit a jumper at the buzzer tosend the game into overtime, but he Terps came away with the win inovertime. *Clemson swept Maryland in 1996-97, a season in which theTigers finished eighth in the final ESPN Coach’s poll, the highestfinal ranking in Clemson history. The Tigers won four out of fiveagainst Maryland between the last meeting of 1995-97 and the firstmeeting in 1997-98, all when Rick Barnes was Clemson’s head coach.*Three years ago the two teams met at Clemson and it was a highscoring affair. Maryland held a 59-56 lead at halftime beforewinning, 104-92. Clemson made 13 three-point goals in that game,led by Will Solomon who made seven threes and scored 32 points.Chris Hobbs had a double-double off the bench in just 22 minutes.The Tigers have won eight games in history in College Park, six ofthem in Cole Fieldhouse. Clemson defeated a top 20 Maryland team inCole Fieldhouse twice. In the 1975-76 season, Bill Foster’s firstat Clemson, the Tigers downed Maryland 82-77 in one of the mostshocking upsets in Clemson history. Maryland was ranked second inthe nation entering the game and it is still the highest rankedroad win in school history. It was just Foster’s second ACC game asClemson head coach. One of the scores for Clemson in the contestwas a behind-the-back shot from the foul line during regular play,by Tiger guard Greg Coles. Tree Rollins, then a junior, had asignificant hand in that Clemson win. Clemson’s wins in ColeFieldhouse took place in 1961-62 (75-68), 1965-66 (81-69), 1975-76(82-77), 1986-87 (80-79), 1992-93 (81-73) and 1996-97 (76-70).Clemson also won in College Park in 1939-40 (48-30) and 1949-50(60-55).

Last Meeting at MarylandMaryland 91, Clemson 52 Feb. 25, 2003 at College Park, MD Maryland broke open a five-point halftime lead with a 27-4 run to open the second half and went on to a 91-52 victory over Clemson at the Comcast Center on Feb. 25, 2003. It was the second straight win of at least 39 points, the third straight at home by at least 23 points for the Terps.

Clemson made an 18-6 run to close the half and trailed by just 36-31 at intermission. But the Terps made six consecutive three-point goals to put the game away early in the second half. Drew Nicholas and Steve Blake were both playing in their final home game at Maryland and both scored four three-point goals to lead the Terps performance.

Ryan Randle actually led Maryland for the game with 18 points, while Blake added 14 points and seven assists. Nicholas and Jamar Smith scored 13 apiece for the Terps, who shot 63 percent from the field, highest against a Larry Shyatt coached Clemson team. The Terps hit 12-20 three-point goals and the .600 shooting was the best three-point shooting against Clemson since the 1997-98 season when Gonzaga hit 14-19 (.737) in a game played in Alaska. The Terps had 29 assists against just 14 turnovers.

Clemson was led in scoring by Sharrod Ford, who had a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. He had five offensive rebounds in his 25 minutes of play. Edward Scott scored 11 and had five assists and four steals. He played a season low 34 minutes. Chey Christie added 10 points.

Maryland’s ability to force turnovers in the second half played a big part in their explosion. Clemson won the points off turnover stat 13-4 in the first half, but Maryland scored 22 points off turnovers in the second half to just four scored by Clemson. The Terps shot 67.7 percent in the second half.

Purnell, Bradley Both Coached at Maryland Clemson head coach Oliver Purnell was born in Belin, MD in 1953 and coached for three years at the University of Maryland. Purnell coached under Lefty Driesell in 1985-86 when the Terps had a 19-14 record and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. He then coached two seasons under Bob Wade. In the second year Maryland advanced to the second round of the NCAAs with an 18-13 record. Purnell left Maryland in 1988-89 to become the head coach at Radford.

Dr. Ron Bradley, Clemson associate head coach, was at the University of Maryland from 1981-90. Bradley served as a volunteer coach from 1981-83, then became a full-time assistant coach under Lefty Driesell for the 1983-84 season. When Maryland met Clemson in 1983-84, the two teams played the only triple overtime game in the history of Littlejohn Coliseum. Bradley was an assistant coach on the Maryland bench for that game.

Bradley then served as an assistant coach under Bob Wade through the 1988-89 season. He was an assistant athletic director within the Maryland athletic department for the 1989-90 season, Gary Williams first year as head coach at Maryland. Bradley left Maryland in 1990-91 to become the head coach at Radford. Thus, Bradley and Purnell both became the head coach at Radford after serving as assistants at Maryland.

Purnell 1-1 vs. Maryland as Head Coach This will be Oliver Purnell third game as a head coach against Maryland and Gary Williams. Purnell led Dayton to a 77-71 victory over Maryland in the third place game of the 2000 Maui Invitational. That was a big victory for the Flyers and Purnell, as that Maryland team went on to the Final Four in March. Maryland was ranked sixth in the nation entering that game in Hawaii. Maryland won the first meeting this year between Clemson and Maryland by a 65-52 score at Clemson.

Last Time out for ClemsonVirginia Downs Tigers 58-55 February 21, 2004 Todd Billet scored 21 points, including a decisive three-point goal with 16 seconds left to lead Virginia to a 58-55 victory over Clemson Saturday afternoon at Littlejohn Coliseum. The game featured eight ties and six lead changes. The victory improved the Cavaliers to 14-10 overall, 4-9 in the ACC, while Clemson fell to 10-14 overall, 3-10 in the ACC.

Clemson was coming off a 60-55 victory over 13th ranked NC State the previous Wednesday night, the second top 15 win for the Tigers in Oliver Purnell first season as Clemson head coach.

Olu Babalola led the Tigers with 19 points, nine rebounds, three steals and three assists. It was the third time this year a Clemson player had led the Tigers in all four categories in the same game. Freshman Vernon Hamilton did it on two occasions earlier this year. Fourteen of his 19 points came in the second half.

Shawan Robinson also scored in double figures for the Tigers with 10 points. Chey Christie added nine and Akin Akingbala recorded eight rebounds. Clemson won the battle of the boards 47-31, its best rebound margin in an ACC game this year, including a season high 24 offensive rebounds. But the Tigers still could not get the win as Clemson shot just 34 percent from the field, hitting just 20-59 shots.

Once again Clemson held the opposition under 40 percent shooting as Virginia made just 22-56 shots from the field, 39.3 percent. Clemson blocked eight shots on defense, including four by Sharrod Ford, giving the Tigers 105 for the season.

Clemson committed just 15 turnovers for the game, four under its average, but nine of the 15 took place in the first five minutes and the last five minutes of the game. Clemson had just six miscues in the middle 30 minutes of the contest.

Billet was outstanding as the senior leader hit 8-13 shots from the field, including 5-9 on three-point attempts. He also had five assists and just one turnover in 35 minutes. It was the second straight year he had an outstanding game in Littlejohn Coliseum. He had 25 points, including seven three-point goals, in a 78-77 Clemson victory last year. The previous Saturday he had hit a game-winning shot against Georgia Tech.

Clemson went on an 11-3 run over the last seven minutes of the first half to take a 28-20 lead at intermission. Clemson was very balanced in the first half as eight different players had between two and five points and all nine players who participated had at least one rebound. Clemson won the rebound battle 29-12, including six apiece by Akingbala and Lamar Rice. Virginia was held to 8-27 shooting by the Tigers defense, which had held 13th NC State to 30 percent shooting the previous Wednesday.

But, Virginia went on a 14-2 run to open the second half and went from an eight-point deficit to a two-point lead. Starting guards J.R. Reynolds and Billet both made two three-point goals to key the rally.

But, Clemson finally got untracked behind Babalola, who scored eight straight and 12 of 13 Clemson points at one stretch to bring the Tigers to within 44-43 with seven minutes left. Clemson then tied the score at 48 on a three-point goal by Christie with 4:32 remaining. The Tigers took a 52-50 lead when Robinson hit a twisting lay-up from underneath. Robinson then scored again on the next possession on a jumper from the middle of the lane to give Clemson a 54-51 advantage with 1:59 left.

It was still 55-53 in favor of Clemson after Robinson made 1-2 free throws with 27.8 seconds remaining. But, Billet then worked free off a screen and hit a three-point goal with 16 seconds left to give Virginia a 56-55 lead. On the next possession the Tigers turned the ball over. Billet ended up with the ball and drove in for a lay-up with two seconds left. Clemson then threw the ball away on the in-bounds with one second left and the Cavaliers had their first road win of the season.

Babalola Records Quadruple Leadership vs. Virginia Clemson junior Olu Babalola led the Tigers in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals in the loss to Virginia on Feb. 21, a quadruple leadership. It marked the first time in his career he had led the Tigers in all four categories in the same game. It was the third time that has happened this season for any Clemson player, as freshman point guard Vernon Hamilton did it in a win over Boston College and at Wake Forest.

Babalola had 19 points, nine rebounds, three assists and three steals against Virginia. Fourteen of his 19 points came in the second half. He also had four offensive rebounds to help Clemson to a 47-31 advantage on the boards against the Cavaliers.

It was the second time in the last four games that Babalola has led Clemson in scoring. He also did it against Wake Forest on Feb. 12 when he scored a career high 22 points. He was 5-7 from the field and 10-12 from the foul line in that contest. Earlier this year he led Clemson in scoring at Cincinnati when he had 13 against a top 20 Bearcat program. He has one double-double this year, a loss to South Carolina.

Ford Returns Home Sharrod Ford is the only native of Maryland on the Clemson roster. The native of Suitland and a graduate of Gwynn Park High School is Clemson’s leading scorer and rebounder this year with 11.3 and 6.9 averages, respectively. He is trying to become the first Clemson player to lead the Tigers in both important categories in the same season since Greg Buckner did it in 1994-95.

This will be Ford’s third trip to Maryland with the Tigers. His freshman season he played just nine minutes as a reserve and got into four trouble, as he was charged with four personals in that short period of time. He finished the game with one points and three rebounds. Last year, Ford played well in front of family and friends, scoring 12 points on 4-7 shooting. He also had 11 rebounds, including five offensive, giving him a double-double in just 25 minutes of play. It was one of two double-doubles in ACC games for Ford last year.

Hamilton Shows Improvement vs. Virginia Vernon Hamilton most frustrating game of his freshman season took place at Virginia on January 20 when he had nine turnovers in just 21 minutes of play. He also made just 1-7 field goals in the Clemson loss. Hamilton is from Richmond so he wanted to play well in front of his family.

Hamilton made a strong comeback in his next game against the team from his home state. Last Saturday he played 16 minutes without a turnover , his first ACC game without a turnover this year. He also made 2-3 field goals and 1-1 on three-point shots in scoring five points. He also added a pair of assists. After enduring a 1-15 three-point shooting slump at mid-season, he has now made four of his last seven.

Hamilton leads the Tigers in assists (81) and steals (43) this year. His assist total is tied for the sixth most ever by a Clemson freshman, the same total Bobby Conrad had in 1976-77. Grayson Marshall has the freshman assist record with 192. His steal total is the fourth highest total by a Clemson freshman and is just one short of Tony Stockman’s total (44) in 2000-01. Greg Buckner has that freshman record with 63 in 1994-95.

Clemson over 100 Blocked Shots Clemson had eight blocked shots in the loss to Virginia and went over the 100-mark for the season in the process. Clemson now has 105 blocked shots this year, just the third time Clemson has gone over the century mark in that category since 1993-94, a period of 10 years. Sharrod Ford has a lot to do with that as he has 54 for the season, second in the ACC. He now has 99 for his career, and obviously needs just one to become the seventh player in Clemson history to reach 100 blocked shots.

Akin Akingbala has 14, including a career high four against Virginia in the most recent game. The Tigers average 4.375 blocked shots per game so far this season. That average would be ninth best in Clemson history if the season ended today.

Clemson has an outstanding tradition when it comes to shot blockers. Three of the top 10 shot blockers in ACC history (on a per game basis) have been from Clemson. Tree Rollins is the ACC’s career leader on a per game basis with 4.1 per game, just ahead of Tim Duncan’s 3.75 per game. Sharone Wright is fifth on that list with 3.13 per game, while Elden Campbell is eighth at 2.72 per game.