KJ McDaniels leads Clemson to win over Maryland

KJ McDaniels leads Clemson to win over Maryland
March 2, 2014, 4:15 pm
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Terps signee Trimble ready for McDonald's game

(Associated Press)

It took 50 minutes of ACC basketball that was heavy with defense and light on offensive execution to all but shut the window on Maryland’s hopes for an at-large berth in the NCAA tournament on Sunday in Clemson, S.C.

Forty minutes of regulation and two overtimes later, Maryland fell, 77-73, to Clemson leaving the possibility of running the table in the ACC tournament as likely Maryland’s only path to the Field of 68.

Clemson junior K.J. McDaniels led a Tiger defense that is one of the conference’s best, on his way to 26 points, 12 rebounds, and five blocks. The Tigers held Maryland to just 30.2 percent shooting from the floor and 28.1 percent shooting from three-point range.

Maryland’s Dez Wells was 5-of-16 from the floor for 16 points. Fellow guard Seth Allen led the Terrapins in scoring with 20 points. Charles Mitchell, who worked the hardest in the paint for Maryland, had six points and 15 rebounds.

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FINAL

Clemson 77, Maryland 73

HEADLINES

END OF REGULATION MISTAKE

Maryland guard Dez Wells drove to the basket with 0:18 to play and the game tied, and was blocked by Clemson’s K.J. McDaniels. That would appear to give Clemson possession with a chance to win it, but the ball was stolen by Nick Faust.

He gave it back to Wells, who instead of running the clock down for a final shot, took another shot and missed with 0:08 to go. Clemson had one final chance with the time remaining, but could not get a good look.

END OF FIRST OVERTIME RETAKE

Maryland was giving Clemson guard Rod Hall that shot. With 19.2 seconds to play and a one-point deficit, the Terrapins were playing to get a defensive stop. The defense collapsed in on the possession, though, giving Hall a look from what appeared to be three-point range and he nailed it, giving Clemson a temporary 63-59.

It was then reviewed and determined that the Hall’s foot was on the line, making it 62-59. Maryland ran a solid screen play for Evan Smotrycz off a dish from a driving Dez Wells. He knocked down the three to tie it.

McDaniels’ drive to the basket on Clemson’s last look was no good and we were headed to double OT.

SECOND OVERTIME HEARTACHE

Maryland made just three field goals in the final five minutes, while Clemson got to the line with efficiency and hit enough free throws to win. Credit goes to the Tigers’ defense in that final frame, especially McDaniels. 

DEFENSE DEFENSE DEFENSE

Clemson doesn’t shoot a high percentage from the floor. In fact, they rank 299th in the nation in that category. But they’re one of the best in the country defensively, something that they showed on Sunday.

The Terrapins shot just 30.4 percent from the floor. Included in that was one of Jake Layman’s toughest games of the season. He shot just 1-of-14 from the floor and missed the front end of a one-and-one with 0:33 to play in the second overtime when the game was 74-71.

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