CLEMSON, S.C.- The Clemson basketball team used a dominating first half effort to help catapult themselves to a 67-51 win over Maryland on Wednesday in Littlejohn Coliseum.
Behind a suffocating defensive effort, Clemson raced out to a 38-15 halftime lead. Maryland refused to go quietly though and attempted to make a couple of second-half runs to get back into it.
At one point the Terps were able to cut the lead to 12 late in the second half, but Clemson would hit six of their next eight shots and extend the lead back to 63-46.
"Unbelievably pleased with how well prepared our kids were mentally," head coach Brad Brownell said. "And then I thought our spirit and energy level was great. And there was a better atmosphere. This was a better atmosphere and I thought that helped give our guys a jolt as well."
Four Tigers scored in double figures, with Aamir Simms leading all scorers with 16 points on 7-of-13 shooting. Simms also added seven rebounds.
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"A good win for the team, you know, typically for the young guys particularly to play in a game like this," Simms said. "Of course we don't have our crowd here, but this win is really important for us. We wanted to come out and make a statement."
Al-Amir Dawes scored 12 points, including two big second-half 3-pointers. John Newman III also scored 12 points with 3 rebounds and an assist. Nick Honor added 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting and shot 2-3 from three.
As a team, Clemson shot 45 percent from both the field and from three, as well as hitting 6-8 from the free-throw line. The Tigers also got 25 points from the bench.
However, this one was about the defensive effort, as the Tigers forced 15 turnovers and turned those into 18 points.
Clemson improves to 4-0 on the season and will now head to Atlanta to face Alabama on Saturday. Maryland drops to 4-1 on the season.