Leonard Hamilton summed up the game by saying Maryland had more guys make plays when they needed to make plays. He certainly did not fault his team's effort stating that a breakthrough had been made from an effort standpoint. Hamilton said this team has grown up over the last three games and has developed that never say dies attitude. Now it is just a case of making those plays down the stretch on a more consistent basis to get over the hump he said.
FSU had a difficult time early on covering Drew Nicholas who finished with 20 points to lead all scorers. The other senior in the backcourt for the Terps, Steve Blake, finished with 15. Balancing out the scoring the frontcourt duo of Tahj Holden and Ryan Randle had 11 and 10 points respectively.
For Florida State it was an odd combination of who was hot in each of the halves. Nate Johnson scored 14 points all in the first twenty minutes. Trevor Harvey led FSU with 19 points 14 of which came in the second half. He also added 10 rebounds to his line. Tim Pickett had 12 before fouling out for the second straight game and Todd Galloway had 10. Three came on a three-point bomb that banked in. Had it not been for Blake's heroics, that would have been the winning shot.
In what started out to be very similar to the meeting between the two at the Comcast Center, Florida State found themselves down 14-4 very quickly. Turnovers and poor shooting again were the culprits. That prompted Hamilton to call a timeout at the 17:09 mark.
That seemed to spark the ‘Noles into giving a much better defensive effort as well as a flurry of points from Johnson. Johnson nailed back to back threes around a Nicholas three pointer coming out of the timeout. Pickett's three at the 11:45 mark closed it to 19-17.
The Seminoles next few possessions saw them go cold on offense as well as receiving some no calls by the referees. John Gilchrist's fast break basket gave the Terps a 25-19 lead.
FSU fought back. Johnson sandwiched two three pointers around a pair of Randle free throws. Adam Waleskowski's two shots from the line gave FSU a 31-29 lead with 2:58 left in the half. Maryland took the lead back on three pointers by Blake, Chris McCray, and an unlikely bomb from Randle. Maryland took a 38-33 lead into the locker room.
Florida State came out of the intermission playing a suffocating defense that held Maryland to just one field goal over the first 3:50. Pickett's three from the left wing tied the game at 41.
It remained a close contest over the next five minutes. Despite FSU doing a much better job attacking the basket, Maryland would just not give up the lead. With Benson Callier making a tremendous play to keep possession for FSU, Harvey's basket closed the deficit to 51-50 with 11:30 to play.
Maryland went on a 12-4 at that point to lead 63-54 at the 7:04 mark.
On the strength of Harvey, FSU climbed back to take a lead with 3:25 to play. Galloway's fast break layup miss was finished off by a trailing Harvey slam-dunk.
The lead did not last long and the senior leadership of Maryland made the difference. Nicholas answered Harvey's basket and Blake's three-pointer gave the Terrapins a 70-67 lead. A fatigued Harvey missed finishing off a slam and Pickett missed a three-point attempt.
FSU hung in there with defense notably when Waleskowski blocked Nicholas. But with time running out, The Seminoles had to foul.
There was a glimmer of hope when Nicholas missed the front end of a one and one. Galloway raced the length of the court on a Terrapin turnover to make it a one point game, 70-69. However, just seventeen seconds remained.
Galloway promptly fouled Blake with no time running off the clock. Blake made both charity shots. Needing a three to tie, for some inexplicable reason, Johnson drove the baseline and still missed the shot. The game for all practical purposes was over when Blake was fouled once more with just five seconds left.
Galloway made it interesting with his three-pointer. But, it came with half a second left in the game.
Florida State continues to show improvement if not in their record. The ‘Noles fall to 11-10, 2-8. Hamilton was encouraged though saying this team would win some more games this season.
FSU's next chance for a win comes Saturday at noon at the Civic Center against Georgia Tech.