COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Maryland coach Mark Turgeon has implored sophomore Nick Faust to do a better job of stepping into his shot, rather than being too loose with his technique.
Faust took the advice and scored a season-high 18 points as Maryland won its fourth consecutive game over Clemson, 72-59 on Saturday.
Freshmen Jake Layman and Shaquille Cleare scored 12 and 10 points, respectively, for the Terrapins (19-8, 7-7 Atlantic Coast Conference), who are 16-2 at home.
“Nick has put a lot of time into his jumper,” Turgeon said. “I thought his floor game was good. He got us into our offense. I thought he defended better. I am on Nick all the time to be an elite defender and take on a challenge.”
Devin Booker scored 16 points for Clemson (13-13, 5-9), reaching double figures for the 11th time in 14 conference games. Jordan Roper also had 13 points and Milton Jennings scored 10 for the Tigers, who haven’t beaten Maryland since 2010.
The Terrapins outrebounded Clemson 39-29, matching their plus-10 average rebounding margin for the season, second best in the NCAA. Maryland, however, made just 6 of 16 free throws (37.5 percent). The Terrapins had just eight turnovers and 19 assists.
“Maryland was more aggressive on defense in the second half,” Booker said. “I kept trying to get shots, but they executed better than we did. That changed everything.”
A 3-pointer by Faust with 11:52 left in the first half gave the Terrapins an 18-16 lead, their first since they led 4-3 in the opening minute. The Terrapins stayed in control and a strong layup by Cleare gave them a 10-point advantage, 32-22, with 5:52 left.
“I think we executed well in the offensive end. Guys were dialed in from the beginning and it helped us get the win,” Faust said. “I’m just trying to get the hang of it still, trying to execute and run what Coach wants us to run. Do whatever I can to not get a turnover, get an assist and get the guys going.”
The Tigers cut the margin to 35-32 at the break on consecutive 3-pointers by Adonis Filer and Roper in the closing minutes. Maryland, however, extended its lead to 44-35 on a jumper by Cleare and a 3-pointer by Faust with 15:54 left in the game.
“This shows how solid we can be,” Layman said. “We had under 10 turnovers, which is great for us, and we are looking to carry that into next game.”
Maryland continued to pull away and Alex Len provided a 56-40 lead when he made a free throw after he was fouled while converting a layup with 11:20 remaining. The Tigers could not cut the lead to single digits the rest of the way.
“I thought Maryland played pretty well today, to be honest with you, and we didn’t play well enough to win,” Clemson coach Brad Brownell said. “We had spurts of good play. Maryland’s ability to rebound the ball offensively certainly was problematic. And their size made it hard for us to score inside.”
Former Maryland coach Charles “Lefty” Driesell was honored at halftime. Driesell, who coached the Terrapins from 1969 to 1986, compiled a 348-159 record, won an ACC title and led the Terrapins to eight NCAA tournament appearances. The Maryland athletics department will also dedicate a bronze bas-relief of Driesell in a ceremony at Comcast Center on April 16.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)