Tigers Desperately Need Win Tonight

To put it bluntly, Clemson flat out owned Maryland last year, and that includes every sport. As expected, the Tigers beat Maryland in football and swept the three-game series in baseball.

WHAT: Maryland vs. Clemson
WHEN: 8 p.m., Tuesday
WHERE: Littlejohn Colisuem (10,000)
TV: Jefferson Pilot (not available in upstate S.C.)

However, the big surprise came in hoops, where Clemson took all three games and in pretty strong fashion.

It was the first time in school history the Tigers swept three games against Maryland in basketball. And should Clemson beat the Terps again tonight, it would mark the first-ever four-game winning streak against them since 1949-51.

But the task was made much more difficult without the likely services of Tigers point guard Vernon Hamilton, who sustained chipped a bone in his left elbow and sprained his left thumb after he fell to the court, while attempting a steal against Boston College.

He is listed as doubtful, which means Shawan Robinson will start in his place. And that's not all that bad.

Last season against Maryland, Robinson averaged 21 points and shot nearly 66 percent from the field, including 70 percent from three-point range.

"Maryland will come in here motivated, having lost four of their last five games," Clemson coach Oliver Purnell said. "So we've got to make sure that we're motivated so we can be involved in another heck of a ballgame."

Purnell and the Tigers are familiar with tight ballgames, dating back to last season.

In Clemson's last five games, it's gone to double overtime, overtime, been tied with just over a minute to play, and been tied in a fourth with eight minute to play. Yet, the Tigers managed to lose all five.

"It's very frustrating for our guys to be in so many games of late where it's a tie score with less than a minute to play, and we just didn't finish the deal," Purnell said. "We continue to get better in certain areas, and we've got to continue to do that and fight off the temptation to become down or frustrated.

"There's such parity in this league that if you can win a couple of games in a row, then you've got a chance to get on a little bit of a roll going into the tournament."

PROBABLE LINEUPS
Maryland (15-8 overall, 5-5 ACC)
G 5 D.J. Strawberry (6-5, 201) 10.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg
G 23 Mike Jones (6-5, 204) 9.3 ppg, 3.2 rpg
C 25 Ekene Ibekwe (6-9, 220) 10.9 ppg, 6.6 rpg
F 22 Nik Caner-Medley (6-8, 240) 15.4 ppg, 6.4 rpg
F 15 James Gist (6-8, 223) 8.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg

Clemson (14-10 overall, 3-8 ACC)
G 22 Shawan Robinson (6-2, 180) 11.1 ppg, 2.3 rpg
G 25 Cliff Hammonds (6-3, 197) 9.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg
C 33 Akin Akingbala (6-9, 240) 10.9 ppg, 7.3 rpg
F 32 Sam Perry (6-5, 208) 6.2 ppg, 2.8 rpg
F 12 Raymond Sykes (6-9, 205) 1.3 ppg, 1.3 rpg

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