Clemson's Winning Streak Ends At Maryland


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COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Clemson's run as the country's only undefeated Division I basketball team came to a screeching halt Saturday in the shadow of the nation's capital.

Ekene Ibekwe scored 20 points to lead five Maryland players in double figures, and the Terrapins held off a determined Clemson team down the stretch Saturday afternoon, 92-87. The game was played before a sellout crowd at The Comcast Center in College Park.

The defeat dropped the No. 17 Tigers to 17-1 (3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), one game short of establishing a new, all-time school record for consecutive wins at season's beginning. This current team remains tied with the Cliff Ellis-coached Clemson squad of 20 years ago with a 17-0 start.

Defense, which had been a consistent calling card for the Tigers during the streak, wasn't as crisp Saturday. Maryland shot 63 percent from the floor, aided by enough success against Clemson's press to get a number of easy baskets in the paint.

Conversely, the Tigers shot 49 percent from the field, and had another woeful afternoon from the free throw line. Clemson shot just 5-of-13 (38 percent) from the line, while Maryland went 25-of-31 (81 percent).

James Mays led the Tigers with 22 points, while K.C. Rivers had 18 - but just two in the second half. Vernon Hamilton added 15 points, Trevor Booker 14 and Cliff Hammonds 11.

D.J. Strawberry had 14 points in support of Ibekwe for Maryland, with James Gist adding 12 and Mike Jones and Greivies Vasquez 10 each.

Clemson has little time to lament the loss. No. 2 North Carolina comes to Littlejohn Coliseum on Wednesday night.

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