CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Clemson’s Damarcus Harrison knew coming in he’d have to make an important shot. He just didn’t think he’d have to wait nearly 49 minutes to do it.
Harrison’s 3-pointer from right of the basket with 1:08 left in the second overtime put the Tigers ahead for good in a 77-73 victory over Maryland on Sunday.
It was the Terrapins (15-14, 7-9) last trip to Littlejohn Coliseum as Atlantic Coast Conference members and Harrison sent them home with another late-game disappointment.
“I was waiting for that shot the whole game. Luckily, it came at the right time,” he said.
Clemson’s second-in-the-nation defense helped Harrison’s field goal stand up. K.J. McDaniels had one of his six blocks on Dez Wells attempt to tie on Maryland’s next possession and Rod Hall stole the ball after Charles Mitchell got the rebound.
The Tigers (18-10, 9-7) hit four of six foul shots down the stretch to hold on.
“We just fight, man. We’re a tough team and we don’t ever give up on ourselves,” Harrison said. “This shows we’ve grown as a team and are figuring out ways to win.”
It helps with McDaniels on your side. The Clemson junior had 26 points and 14 rebounds to go along with his six blocked shots. He also found a waiting and open Harrison moments before the crucial 3-pointer.
Clemson ended Maryland’s four-game series win streak. The Terps have lost four of their past five, the defeats coming by a total of 16 points.
“Don’t really know where to start in a game like this,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. “At the end, we just couldn’t make the plays to win the game.”
Clemson and Maryland both had chances to shorten this one.
The Tigers seemed to wrap it up on Hall’s 3-pointer with 19.2 seconds left in the first overtime for a 63-59 lead. But officials reviewed the shot, found his feet were on the line and changed it to a two-point goal and a 62-59 lead. That’s when Smotrycz hit his fourth 3-pointer with 7.6 seconds to go and tied things once more.
McDaniels got the ball to the rim on Clemson’s last possession, but it fell away and brought a second extra period.
Maryland appeared in good shape after a 14-5 run early in the second half to move in front 48-44. The Terps were still up 54-50 on Seth Allen’s bucket with 5:02 go, but they did not score after that and missed their final eight shots of the half.
Clemson didn’t do much better, but tied the game on Jaron Blossomgame’s three-point play with 3:24 left and McDaniels’ foul shot a minute later.
Both teams had chances at the end. Dez Wells missed two driving layups in the final minute, the first on a block by McDaniels.
Clemson got the final chance with 7.3 seconds left, but Adonis Filer’s running shot bounced away at the horn.
For McDaniels, it was his seventh game this year with double-figure points and rebounds. Clemson won nine ACC games for just the ninth time in program history and clinched a first-round bye in the upcoming, supersized ACC tournament.
“It’s a significant thing for a team picked 14th (in the ACC preseason)”, Clemson coach Brad Brownell said. “To get out of that first night, yeah, it’s a step. We want to do more, though.”
Rod Hall scored 16 points, 10 of those coming in the two overtimes.
Seth Allen had 20 points to lead Maryland. Allen’s final basket gave the Terrapins a 71-70 lead with 1:27 to go before Harrison’s shot.
Evan Smotrycz had 19 points off four 3-pointers for Maryland. Jake Layman, one of four Terps averaging in double figures coming in, went just 1 of 14 for three points in 35 minutes.
Both teams came in looking to shake off disappointing defeats. The Terps rallied from 12 points down against No. 4 Syracuse this past Monday before falling 57-55 as Seth Allen’s three-point try clanged off the rim at the end. It was Maryland’s third loss in its past four games, all to ranked opponents — it fell to No. 12 Virginia and No. 6 Duke before the Orange defeat.
Clemson held a 30-23 lead at Wake Forest last Tuesday night before the Demon Deacons came back for a 62-57 victory.
And both clubs looked like they hadn’t totally gotten over those losses with their early play in this one. Clemson missed its first eight shots and started just 1-of-14 from the field.
But the Terrapins couldn’t take advantage and managed just four baskets in the first 12 minutes.
Maryland seemed to find its stride after that with an 11-1 run — Allen had seven points and Charles Mitchell four — to grab a 27-18 lead with 4:46 left.
Clemson’s Brownell called time out and told his players to calm down and keep giving effort. His words worked as the Tigers responded with a 15-5 spurt to halftime to move in front 33-32.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)