Terps find right road with Williams at wheel THE WINNING TOUCH

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, its first road win of the season.

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 (9-10, 2-7 in the Atlantic Coast Conference) got the biggest supply of what they needed from Walt Williams, who turned in another bravura performance, scoring 38 points.

Maryland also got a big boost from its bench. Little-used Kurtis Shultz and John Walsh filled in on the front line, keeping the Terps respectable inside after starters Evers Burns and Chris Kerwin had picked up four fouls each in the first nine seconds of the second half.

"I understand my role," said Shultz, a 6-foot-5, 238-pound freshman from Randallstown. "There's not enough minutes for everybody. . . . I'm not here to score, but to do what I'm asked to do."

Williams, the ACC's leading scorer, took care of the points. His 38 included a school-record seven of nine three-point shots. His scoring total also marked the seventh straight time that the 6-8 senior from Temple Hills has scored 30 or more in a game, leaving him one short of the ACC record, set by Wake Forest's Len Chappell during the 1961-62 season.

Williams, who was 11-for-18 overall, was nearly unstoppable, hitting shots with a hand or two and often more in his face.

"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."

For his part, Walt Williams deflected the praise to his supporting cast, particularly to point guard Kevin McLinton, who had a team-high five assists, including one dazzling, alley-oop toss to Williams near the end of the first half.

"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."

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

Walt Williams also praised the Maryland bench.

"Our second team has been doing a great job," he said. "I have to give them a lot of credit."

Although the Seminoles (14-6, 6-4) out-rebounded the Terps, 45-34, Shultz (one rebound) and Walsh (career-high 10 points, six rebounds) kept Florida State from dominating inside.

The Terps, who were blitzed by the Seminoles' transition game in their 91-83 loss to Florida State two weeks ago, set out to keep the Seminoles from running.

"The biggest difference was definitely on defense," said senior Vince Broadnax. "The main thing was getting back and making sure they wouldn't run all over us. In the overtime, that's [layups] all they got."

Maryland generally left a player back from its press to pick up the quicker Seminoles and force them into a halfcourt set.

And while the frontcourt of Doug Edwards and Rodney Dobard combined for 49 points on 22-for-35 shooting, the four Florida State perimeter players -- Chuck Graham, Sam Cassell, Charlie Ward and Bob Sura -- shot a combined 10-for-34.

"I could feel their frustration," said McLinton, who converted a key steal by reserve guard Matthew Downing into a three-point play with a minute left to shut the door on Florida State. "Toward the end of the second half, they were yelling at each other."

"We played horrible tonight," said Kennedy. "There was not one player who played well. It was not a good effort at all. But give Maryland credit. They took it to us."

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