For much of this season, the free throw line has been more of a penalty than a charity for Maryland's men's basketball team.
The Terps have shot just 66% for the season, ranking 264th out of 338 teams.
They left 10 free points on the court in a nine-point loss to Illinois, eight in a five-point loss to NC State and nine in a double-overtime four-point loss at Miami (FL). They shot 58% from the line in losses to Florida State, Temple and Duke.
And in the season's first six games, Maryland shot a woeful 59% from the line.
But all of that seems to be changing lately for the shorthanded Terps. While Maryland has shot 73% over the last seven games, individual players have stepped up.
Guard Nick Faust shot 54% in his first 19 games, and has shot 75% in his last eight. Mychal Parker, a career 51% free throw shooter, overcame 24% from the line over his first six games to shoot 76% in his last 21. James Padgett, a career 50% free throw shooter, is shooting 66% in the last 16 games.
Even the normally steady free throw shooters have improved. Sean Mosley shot a reliable 79% in the first 19 games of the year, but has kicked that up to 91% in the last eight games. And leading scorer Terrell Stoglin is shooting 88% in the last seven games after shooting 74% in the first 20 games.
Despite their inconsistency, the Terps have come up big at the stripe with the game on the line. On Tuesday, Maryland made its last eight free throws to seal the victory. The same goes for wins over Clemson (3-for-4 at the end), Virginia Tech (5-for-6), Georgia Tech (10-for-10) and Wake Forest (11-for-13).
All in all, the Terps are winning the games they should. Maryland is 8-0 this season when favored in Las Vegas. A lot of that is due to clutch free throw shooting down the wire. And it's a big reason the Terps still have a shot at finishing 8-8 in the ACC this year.