Williams shoots Terps past Florida State, 93-85

February 06, 1992|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,Sun Staff Correspondent

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Maybe you can't always get what you want, but the Maryland basketball team got exactly what it needed last night, namely a road win.

And it came in one of the most unlikely of settings, the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center, as the Terrapins beat No. 23 Florida State, 93-85.

The Terps got the biggest supply of what they needed from senior guard Walt Williams, who turned in another bravura performance, scoring 38 points, hitting a school-record seven of nine three-pointers.

The game marked the seventh consecutive time that Williams, the ACC's leading scorer, has notched 30 or more points in a game, placing him one short of the all-time conference streak of eight, achieved by Wake Forest's Len Chappell in the 1961-62 season.

But, this time, for only the second time in the streak, Maryland got a win out of Williams' performance.

"I've been playing really well lately, but nothing tops a win," said Williams, who hit 11 of 18 shots overall, combined with four rebounds and two assists in 39 minutes.

"The fellas have done a great job of getting me the ball where I can score," said Williams. "When I got the ball, it was always in a scoring situation."

"What Walt did tonight was typical of what he's been doing during this run," said Maryland coach Gary Williams. "I never coached a player on a roll like this before."

Time and again, Williams hit key shots to quell Florida State uprisings.

"He did an excellent job," said Florida State guard Sam Cassell, a graduate of Dunbar. "Today, it seemed like everything he threw up went in."

"You're always concerned when you're playing a player like Walt Williams," said Florida State coach Pat Kennedy. "Walt had a career night. You could see the fire in his eyes."

After the Seminoles scored on the first three possessions of the second half to pull to within 49-48, and both Chris Kerwin and Evers Burns had picked up their fourth fouls within the first nine seconds of the half, Williams became the calming influence, hitting two foul shots and a lay-up to put Maryland up by 55-48.

With 12 minutes, 29 seconds left, Williams got a leaner over Cassell, drew the foul and converted the three-point play to put Maryland ahead by 65-59.

His three-pointer with 5:54 gave Maryland an 82-72 lead and appeared to put the game out of reach.

But the Seminoles, who had been bothered by Maryland's pressure all night, had one more run left.

Rodney Dobard, who had a career-high 28 points, scored on a power move, a follow shot and a dunk off a steal from Doug Edwards, to combine with a steal and layup from Charlie Ward to pull Florida State within 85-82 with 3:57 left.

Gary Williams called timeout, and off the break, the Terps held the Seminoles to three points -- a Bob Sura foul shot and a meaningless follow slam by Dobard at the buzzer.

Meanwhile, Maryland was forcing the issue and converting. The biggest play came with just more than a minute left as reserve guard Matthew Downing stripped the ball from Cassell on a drive down the lane.

Kevin McLinton collected the loose ball and drove for a layup and was fouled by Ray Donald, a Florida State reserve. The junior point guard converted the free throw and the Terps were ahead 90-83, effectively ending any Seminoles hopes.

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