Statement received: the Terps are as inconsistent as ever.
Coming off consecutive 20-point wins at home against NC State and Miami, where patient offense and swarming defense were the benchmarks of the Terps' dominance, the Terps came out flat, and stayed that way losing to Clemson 62-53.
Despite a stalwart performance from Jordan Williams, who scored 13 points and pulled down 13 rebounds, everyone else on the Terps struggled on offense. Greivis Vasquez tossed in 11, but shot only 3-11 from the floor and had a season-high nine turnovers.
The Terps were bothered all game by the Tigers' length and athleticism inside and out, and shot only 34.6 percent, and 20 percent from behind the three-point line. The Terps also had 26 turnovers, their most in more than three years.
The Tigers were without their second-leading scorer, Demontez Stitt, because of injury, and their best player, Trevor Booker, was 2-16 from the floor. It didn't matter, however, because Jerai Grant, who was averaging just over six points per game coming in, dropped 18 and 12 rebounds on the Terps, including four blocks. Booker still scored 10 and grabbed 16 rebounds.
The Terps were down 29-22 at the half, and though they were leading the ACC in scoring and turnover margin before tonight, the Tigers stalled their offense and dominated them on the ball, pressing all game long and forcing the Terps' ballhandlers into mistakes over and over.
Maryland also had grown accustomed to getting production from bench players Dino Gregory, Adrian Bowie and Cliff Tucker. However, those three combined for only 8 points on 3-13 shooting, and forced up a lot of ill-advised shots.
Though the Terps are still 4-2 in the ACC and near the top (Duke is 5-2 and move into first place as a result), they have yet another tough road test coming up on Thursday night against a team hungry for revenge in the Florida State Seminoles, against whom the Terps opened ACC play with a win.
If the Terps hope to end their losing streak at one, however, they'll need to take better care of the ball and play more patient offense.