Terps Run Away From Tigers, 82-66

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CLEMSON - The hunt for an NCAA tournament berth is getting harder and harder for the Clemson Tigers.

Maryland continued its torrid run of late through the Atlantic Coast Conference, running past Clemson 82-66 Sunday afternoon at Littlejohn Coliseum. After starting ACC play 3-0, the Tigers (19-7, 5-7) have now lost seven of their last nine games in league play.

Meanwhile, the Terrapins have overcome a 1-4 start in ACC play and now stand at 6-6 in the conference (20-7 overall). It is the first time Maryland has reached 20 wins in three seasons.

?Obviously this game was very disappointing," said Clemson head coach Oliver Purnell. "We didn?t play together as a team. I thought we followed the game plan. We got the ball inside and team defense was effective. We didn?t come up with the big rebound late and the turnovers hurt us.

"They had more players play well than we did.?

One of those players was D.J. Strawberry.

Strawberry finished with 22 points, and made several key plays for Maryland down the stretch. His scoring helped the Terps overcome a stretch which saw Clemson whittle a double-digit deficit down to just one point, 59-58, with just over eight minutes to go.

Strawberry then scored eight of Maryland's next 15 points to help the Terrapins regain control and defeat Clelmson for the second time this season.

?We did a good job of keeping the crowd out of the game in the first half, but Littlejohn is notorious for being a loud place," said Maryland head coach Gary Williams. "The crowd really got into it as they made their run in the second half, but D.J. (Strawberry) had a couple of baseline drives, and that really helped us out.

"I thought we kept our quickness all game, and that was a big key.?

Strawberry was aided in the scoring column by freshman point guard Greivis Vasquez, who finished with 15 points and 11 assists.

James Gist also scored 15 points for the Terps.

Cliff Hammonds topped Clemson with 16 points, while Trevor Booker added 12 and James Mays and Vernon Hamilton 10 each.

Maryland is now in sole possession of sixth place in the ACC, while Clemson is tied with Georgia Tech for seventh.

The Tigers play again on Thursday, hosting Duke.

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