Oglesby Triple Completes Clemson Comeback; Terps Lose 70-73
The Clemson bench congratulates #22 Terrence Oglesby after he hits a 3-pointer with 2.7 seconds remaining to seal Clemson's 73-70 victory over Maryland at Comcast Center in College Park MD on March 2, 2008. Christopher Blunck/DC Sports Box
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Down by 20 with 11:21 remaining in the second half, Clemson Head Coach Oliver Purnell took a 30 second timeout and attempted to rejuvenate his team.  The sleeping Tiger of the first half came to life as Clemson completed it's largest second  comeback in school history, toppling the Terrapins with a 3-pointer by Oglesby with 2.3 seconds remaining in regulation.

"There are great wins that stay with you for a long time and there are losses that stay with you for a long time as well," remarked Maryland Head Coach Gary Williams after the game.  "This one will be one of those."

The Terrapins got off to a strong 7-0 start on senior night where Bombale Osby, James Gist, and Jason McAlpin were honored.  Hayes scored first with a quick layup, Osby hit a layup and a free throw, and Gist sunk a jumpshot all in the early going in a game where both teams played up-tempo.

Clemson attacked the Terps from the opening tipoff, running a full-court press.  Maryland handled the ball well for the most part, but committed costly turnovers that allowed the Tigers to claw their way back to a 2 point 9-11 advantage with 15:25 remaining.  Clemson protected the lead for the next 5 minutes until a turnover with 9: by Demontez Stitt led to a fast break layup by Adrian Bowie,  the Terps a 1 point 19-18 lead.  Maryland extended the lead to 37- on a 22-7 run to close out the first half.
 
Maryland shot well from the field in the first half (16-30, or 53.3%), but struggled from the line making only 4 of 9 shots (44.4%).  The uncharacteristically poor free throwing shooting in the first half greatly contrasts the Terrapins season average for free throws, which is in the middle 70s.

James Gist led the Terps in the first half with 11 points and 2 rebounds.  As a team, Maryland out-rebounded the Tigers 20-16 and committed 1 fewer turnover (13) than Clemson (14).

The second half got off to a slow but steady start for the Terps as Maryland extended their lead to 20 points with 11:21 remaining.  Some fans chose to leave early and were not present for the Clemson comeback that unfolded in the closing frame.  Basket by basket the Tigers chipped away at the Terrapin lead.

"Clemson picked up their game and played strong, hit some threes," said Gary Williams, summarizing Clemson's play in the second half. "When you have a lead like that and you lose the game you have to do things to cooperate.  We stopped attacking.  We shot 12/21 from free throw line."

Clemson tied the game at 70 a piece with 45 seconds remaining in regulation when James Mays stole the ball from Landon Milbourne at half court and hit a 2 handed dunk.  The Terps took a possession and Grevis Vasquez looked for a post player down low to pass to but instead elected to take the shot himself, missing his jumpshot.  Sam Perry snatched the rebound and called timeout with 20 seconds remaining.

Couch Purnell set up a play that got the ball into the hands of Terrence Oglesby, who had been hot from beyond the arc in the second half.  Oglesby was guarded by sophomore Landon Milbourne who gave him room to shoot.  With 2.3 seconds remaining Oglesby's 3 pointer was all net, giving the Tigers a 3 point lead.

Vasquez attempted a long shot but his attempt floated high and missed.

Maryland's unraveling in the second half started with the excessive turnovers forced by Clemson in the defensive zone.  The Tigers forced 8 turnovers out of the Terps in the second half (21 total in the game), and only offered the ball up 3 times.  Maryland's shooting was also lackluster.  The squad only completed 12-32 (37.5%), and Gist scored a paltry 4 points in 18 minutes of play.  Osby had only 1 bucket despite playing for 10 minutes.

The Terrapin bench rebounded after the recent loss at Miami and produced 24 points tonight.  Coach Williams summarized his thoughts on the bench play by saying "I think it's good.  They did what's asked of them as a bench.  The job of the bench is to give the starters a rest and keep us in the game and they did."

Maryland has a week off before wrapping up the regular season at Virginia next Sunday at 7:30pm.  The game will be televised on FSN.