Terps' rally falls short vs. Clemson

January 12, 1995|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,Sun Staff Writer

COLLEGE PARK -- Sometimes all it takes is one improbable play to change the course of a game and perhaps a season.

The Maryland women's basketball team didn't get the immediate benefit of a wild exchange with just over six minutes left in last night's 66-57 loss to Clemson, but the play could be what knocks the team out of its funk.

The play, where the Terps turned a blocked shot into a basket after saving two loose balls, turned out to mean very little to the outcome.

But the Terps desperately needed an emotional lift on a night where they mourned the passing of Maryland coach Chris Weller's father, Warren, who died suddenly Saturday and was buried yesterday.

"I knew they'd play with a lot of emotion with the death of Coach Weller's father and they did, to their credit," said Clemson coach Jim Davis. "They're 0-4 in the league, but they didn't play like it."

But the spark, which came in the final seven minutes while the Terps were shaving the Clemson lead down to three with 1:28 remaining, didn't come soon enough.

Freshman Sonia Chase (McDonogh) scored a team-high 14 points, and Kalisa Davis had seven points off the bench, all in the final nine minutes.

"We have to learn to be a 40-minute team," said Weller. "We came out flat in the second half and that's where inexperience tends to show."

Trailing 26-25, thanks to their best defensive half of the season, the Terps created their own difficulty, spotting Clemson (12-3, 2-1) a 15-0 run to start the second half.

Sophomore forward Laura Cottrell poured in six of her 17 points during the run.

Maryland treaded water until the big play of the night, where Davis blocked a shot from junior Stephanie Ridgeway. The ball flew loose toward the Clemson bench and Maryland guard Karon Ferguson grabbed it and flung it downcourt.

Davis, who had sprinted down after the block, saved the pass to senior Kesha Camper, who laid it in.

"I wasn't trying to do anything flashy. I just wanted to keep it in play," said Ferguson.

CLEMSON -- Cottrell 7-11 3-5 17, Saunooke 5-14 3-5 14, Thomas 1-1 1-2 3, Ridgeway 4-10 2-4 10, Davis 1-3 2-2 4, Stimson 1-1 0-2 2, Corder 0-2 2-2 2, Kidd 4-5 2-4 10, Salyer 1-7 1-2 4, Staebell 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-49 16-28 66.

MARYLAND -- Camper 4-13 1-3 9, Chase 6-10 2-2 16, Ohman 3-4 2-4 8, Ferguson 0-2 2-5 2, Purvis 1-6 0-0 3, Cross 2-15 4-6 8, Williams 2-11 2-2 6, Davis 3-8 1-1 7. Totals 21-69 14-23 57.

Halftime--Clemson, 26-25. 3-point goals--C 2-7 (Salyer 1-1, Saunooke 1-5, Ridgeway 0-1); M 1-7 (Purvis 1-2, Ferguson 0-1, Cross 0-2, Williams 0-2). Rebounds--C 45 (Cottrell 11); M 40 (Cross 8). Assists--C 14 (Saunooke, Kidd 5); M 14 (Cross 4). Total fouls--C 19; M 20. Fouled out--M (Chase). A--376.

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