Strong 2nd half pushes Terps to victory over FSU 71-67

February 04, 2010 | Luke Jones

Maryland knew it couldn’t afford to repeat the performance it had against Clemson last Sunday night. The Terps needed a road win against a quality opponent to end the brief two-game road trip on a high note.

And despite a lackluster first half in which the Terps shot only 38.7 percent and trailed by four at the break, they rebounded from 60 minutes (counting the Clemson game) of lackluster basketball in the second half and made enough plays down the stretch to earn a 71-67 win at Florida State.

The Seminoles (16-6, 4-4 ACC) may have provided the highlight-reel plays, particularly Chris Singleton, who had a thunderous slam to cut the Maryland (15-6, 5-2 ACC) lead to 60-59 and an unbelievable block that will haunt Adrian Bowie’s dreams for quite some time. However, every time the momentum appeared to shift in the home team’s favor, the Terps had an answer, even if it was unspectacular.

The game’s biggest play came when reserve forward Dino Gregory drew a charge off a Michael Snaer drive to the basket that would have tied the game at 66 with 14.5 seconds remaining.

Again, it wasn’t pretty, but the Terps found a way to leave Tallahassee with the victory. Remember, every road win in the Atlantic Coast Conference is a big one—especially this year.

Greivis Vasquez led the Terps with 23 points while Landon Milbourne rebounded from a terrible night against Clemson with an 18-point effort against the Seminoles.

Looking to build on his recent ACC Freshman of the Week award, Jordan Williams scored 14 points and grabbed six rebounds. Williams’ presence limited Florida State star Solomon Alabi to 12 points and 10 rebounds. With Alabi struggling, Derwin Kitchen scored a career-high 29 points for the Seminoles in the losing effort.

Despite the satisfaction of improving its conference record to 5-2, Maryland has seen its bench production dry up completely over the last two games. The Terps have received a combined 11 points from their bench players against Clemson and Florida State. Considering three of the four bench players in the rotation are experienced ACC players, the lack of production is concerning.

The Terps return to Comcast Center to take on North Carolina on Sunday afternoon. With the Tar Heels reeling after dropping another conference game to Virginia Tech on Thursday night, anything less than a victory on Sunday is unacceptable, especially if Maryland wants to be in the conversation for the conference title.

I’m guessing Gary Williams will have his Terps ready to play. After all, it’s STILL North Carolina.

Check out the final stats here and the live blog below.

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11:05 p.m. — A pair of Vasquez free throws will wrap it up, and the Terps win it.

Final score: Maryland 71, Florida State 67.

11:04 p.m. — Singleton hits the first and tries to miss the second but does not hit the rim. Maryland basketball.

After a bit of a delay, Milbourne throws it in to Vasquez who’s fouled with 1.5 seconds remaining.

11:01 p.m. — Mosley makes 1-of-2, and the Noles still have a chance.

Maryland will foul to prevent the 3-point shot. Smart move by Gary Williams.

10:59 p.m. — Vasquez hits both free throws to give the Terps a four-point lead.

Kitchen scores on the uncontested layup with 7.9 seconds remaining. Timeout, Florida State.

10:57 p.m. — Offensive foul on Snaer! Great defensive play by Dino Gregory!

What an unbelievable final few minutes we’ve seen here in Tallahassee.

10:56 p.m. — WHAT. A. BLOCK.

Unbelievable!

10:54 p.m. — Kitchen drains the 3-pointer. He is simply cooking the Terps tonight.

Mosley misses two shots from inside, but thankfully, Gregory keeps it alive and draws the foul. A pair of huge free throw by Gregory gives the Terps the lead with 2:20 to go.

10:51 p.m. — Thinking back to the Terps’ inability to finish strong on Sunday night, you have to ask yourself, “Can the Terps finish this one?”

Milbourne drains a pair of freebies to push the lead back up to three.

10:48 p.m. — Just a huge, huge offensive rebound from Milbourne there.

10:45 p.m. — Alabi just reached right over Gregory. That’s just not fair. Alabi goes to the line and drains them both to cut the lead to three.

Williams checks back into the game. Stay tuned to this one.

10:43 p.m. — Definitely a mistake by Williams on that fast-break. He would have been better suited simply letting Snaer go on that one as he goes to the bench with his fourth foul.

10:40 p.m. — Williams is doing a very nice job standing strong against Alabi. The Terps have done a great job bottling him up.

I wish I could say the same about Kitchen.

10:36 p.m. — Vasquez hits a pair of freebies to push the lead back up to seven.

Can someone stop Kitchen? Please.

10:33 p.m. — Alibi with an ill-advised jumper there, but the Terps cannot control the rebound. Kitchen scores again to cut the lead to five.

10:31 p.m. — Kitchen now has 20 points. The Terps are suddenly making a habit of allowing an opponent to pick up a career-high. Jerai Grant had 18 against the Terps on Sunday.

10:30 p.m. — Florida State is completely out of sync. The Terps can put this one away if they can take advantage.

Bowie air balls a three, but James Padgett is there to grab the offensive rebound and is fouled. The frosh misses the first but makes his second. The Terps finally have a bench point 30 minutes into the game.

10:25 p.m. — This is definitely the best the Terps have played in some 60-odd minutes of basketball. Maryland has been a second-half team over and over this year, and we’re seeing that same kind of effort tonight.

10:21 p.m. — A fourth foul for Singleton sends him to the pine. That’s just big.

Hayes hits the 3-ball to push the lead to six points.

10:19 p.m. — Singleton gets the second-chance opportunity and is fouled by Williams who just picked up his third foul. I’ve mentioned on several occasions the freshman’s ability to avoid foul trouble, but he’s run into it tonight.

You would think we’ll get a look at James Padgett at some point.

10:17 p.m. — Just a beautiful no-look pass from Vasquez to Williams for the dunk.  The senior guard then follows it up with a 3-pointer to push the Terps’ lead to seven points. Might be a bit early for the “shimmy” though, Greivis.

10:15 p.m. — Very nice defensive set by the Terps there. That was textbook team defense.

10:11 p.m. — Great vision by Mosley to hit the cutting Milbourne for the easy layup. The pace has picked up in this one considerably.

Vasquez turns it over and Kitchen goes all the way to tie it up.

10:10 p.m. — Kitchen drains the triple to give him 14 points. He’s having a heckuva game for the Noles.

Following a Vasquez miss, Reid scores inside to give the Noles a two-point lead.

10:07 p.m. — Now THAT looks a bit more like the Maryland team we’ve seen during conference play. A 7-0 run to begin the half gives the Terps the lead, and we have a quick timeout.

10:04 p.m. — Maryland gets it to begin the second half, and Jordan Williams gets the slam inside. The Terps have to work the ball inside for high-percentage shots with the struggles offensively tonight.

As I type that, Milbourne hits a jumper from just inside the arc. So much for what I said. LOL.

9:48 p.m. — Milbourne misses a 3-pointer in the final seconds, and Dulkys misses a triple at the buzzer to send this one into the break.

At halftime, Maryland trails Florida State, 29-25.

9:47 p.m. — Look, I’m obviously rooting for LUKE Loucks, but how do you not cut off his path to the basket?

A Maryland turnover leads to another Seminoles bucket. The Terps are not ending the half on a positive note by any stretch.

9:45 p.m. — Following the timeout, Milbourne air-balls a shot from four feet. That’s about right for this one.

A possession later, Vasquez scores to give Maryland a lead.

9:43 p.m. — Kitchen having a very nice half for the Noles, as he now has nine to lead all scorers.

After another FSU bucket, Gary Williams will burn a timeout.

9:38 p.m. — Kitchen scores to give FSU a temporary lead, but Vasquez answers immediately on the other end.

We’ve reached the final media timeout of the first half with Maryland holding on to a 21-20 lead over Florida State.

Since when did Maryland move to the Big Ten?

9:36 p.m. — Another sterling possession from Adrian Bowie. Sadly, I’m getting to the point where I hold my breath every time he touches the ball.

9:33 p.m. — After shooting 34.6 percent against Clemson and 30 percent so far tonight, is it safe to say the Terps’ red-hot shooting of recent weeks has leveled off? Would be nice to find some middle ground though.

9:30 p.m. — A Luke Loucks 3-pointer and a Reid lay-in gives the Seminoles the lead. Maryland just shooting horribly right now.

We’ve reached the under-8 media timeout with FSU leading 16-15.

9:28 p.m. — Alabi shows his range. What an athlete.

Jordan Williams then misses inside, sticks with it, and scores on the second try. It doesn’t look pretty, but the frosh is getting the job done big-time in the paint for this team.

9:27 p.m. — Florida State is ice-cold as Dulkys misses the shot. However, the Terps aren’t exactly shooting the lights out either as Hayes misses the triple.

Both buckets with lids on them right now.

9:24 p.m. — Michael Snaer drives to the basket, and Dino Gregory draws the charge. Nice defensive play by the reserve forward right there.

The Terps then proceed to turn it over.

9:19 p.m. — Williams with the impressive block, and Bowie follows it up on the other end with THAT shot? Ugly.

Milbourne with another steal, leading to the breakaway dunk. He’s off to a very fast start with seven points early.

9:17 p.m. — Can you tell the FSU fans don’t like Vasquez? The senior misses the three, but Milbourne is there for the offensive board and puts it in. Very nice to see the senior forward active after a miserable effort at Clemson.

9:13 p.m. — Milbourne takes it away from Alabi and takes it the other way and draws the foul. We’ve reached the first media timeout, and Florida State leads Maryland, 5-4.

At least I can finally see the game.

9:10 p.m. — I see Florida State is off to a 5-0 start, so this night has clearly gotten off to a great start. FINALLY, the Boston U. vs. New Hampshire game comes to an end.

9:07 p.m. — Here are tonight’s starting lineups:

Maryland
G Greivis Vasquez
G Eric Hayes
G Sean Mosley
F Landon Milbourne
F Jordan Williams

Florida State
G Deividas Dulkys
G Derwin Kitchen
F Ryan Reid
F Chris Singleton
C Solomon Alabi

9:05 p.m. — Well, tonight’s coverage has an early fly in the ointment. I’m watching the game on ESPN Full Court here in southern Pennsylvania, but I’m stuck watching the last few minutes of the Boston University vs. New Hampshire game. BU is winning by 24 with 3:15 to go to add insult to injury.

Anyone ever hear of an overflow channel? Good grief.

8:50 p.m. — One factor to watch tonight will be the number of minutes logged by freshman James Padgett who did not play against the Tigers on Sunday.

Gary Williams has been very deliberate on a few different occasions in discussing a need to find more minutes for the freshman from Brooklyn. Given the physical nature of many ACC teams, Padgett will need to be a factor as the Terps get deeper into the schedule, so Williams needs to see what he has with the frosh.

It’s easy to continue to lean on a known commodity such as Dino Gregory, but the young Padgett has a much bigger upside. Of course, it’s easier said than done to find minutes for an unknown when you’re in the midst of a two or three-point game, and every possession is crucial.

8:35 p.m. — Good evening and Happy Thursday as the Maryland Terrapins (14-6, 4-2 ACC) travel to Tallahassee in search of a season sweet against the Florida State Seminoles (16-5, 4-3 ACC) at 9:00 p.m.

The Terps look to rebound from a disappointing 62-53 defeat at Clemson on Sunday night in which they turned it over an inexcusable 26 times. Other than the lone bright spot of Jordan Williams and his 13 points and 13 rebounds, there wasn’t much good to be taken from the defeat at Littlejohn Coliseum.

Maryland defeated the Seminoles in its ACC opener at Comcast Center on Jan. 10. Senior Greivis Vasquez led the way with 22 points while Eric Hayes chipped in 17 in the 77-68 victory. Despite last month’s victory, the Terps have struggled at the Tucker Center in recent years, losers of four straight in Tallahassee. Maryland’s last win at Florida State came on Feb. 12, 2003.

Leonard Hamilton’s Seminoles have won three of their last four, with a 70-56 loss at Duke being the only blemish over that stretch. Home wins over Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech and a 61-57 victory at Boston College on Saturday have pushed Florida State’s conference record to 4-3.

For Florida State, it starts with sophomore center Solomon Alabi who leads the Noles with a 12.9 point per game average. Alabi ranks second in the league with 2.6 blocks per game, trailing only North Carolina’s Ed Davis who the Terps will see on Sunday afternoon. Sophomore forward Chris Singleton is the other Nole to average double figures (11.1) and leads the team with 7.8 rebounds per game. Singleton also leads the ACC in steals (2.3 per game).

The Terps would clearly like to grab this road victory after the disappointing showing at Clemson on Sunday night. Maryland currently finds itself in third place in the ACC, a half-game behind Duke and Virginia in the standings. A loss tonight would drop the Terps to 4-3 in the conference and create more doubt over how good this team really is as we approach the halfway point of the ACC schedule.

Tonight’s game can be seen on Raycom (WNUV-TV in Baltimore) with Bob Rathbun and Mike Gminski providing the call. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter (@WNST) for updates and musings throughout the game.

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