COLLEGE PARK -- Maryland's women continue to march unchecked through the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The Terps, ranked No. 1 in the country for the third straight week, dismissed Florida State, 101-70, last night before 1,842 at Cole Field House to raise their record to 19-1, 9-0 in the ACC.
This is Maryland's best start in the school's 21-year history of the women's basketball program. The best previous start was 17-1 in 1982-83, a season that produced an ACC championship and a Final Four appearance.
The Terps were sparked by Jessie Hicks, who had game-highs in points (17) and rebounds (13). She led a parade of six Maryland double-figure scorers, followed closely by former Walbrook High star Dafne Lee and Malissa Boles, who had 14 apiece.
Hicks' scoring and rebounding were complemented by Lee's steals and length-of-the-court --es for layups and guard Limor Mizrachi's crisp, no-look passes and game-high eight assists.
"We tried to get into a running game with them," said Florida State guard Danielle Ryan, "and they pretty much ran us off the court. We controlled the tempo better in Tallahassee."
In the previous meeting, Jan. 8 in Tallahassee, Maryland won by 15 points. The Terps' 31-point victory margin last night was their largest in an ACC game this season.
"They're tough to play," Florida State coach Marynell Meadors said. "They have great athletes, more of them than even [No. 2] Virginia."
Maryland shot 70 percent from the field, breaking the school record of 69.4 percent against North Carolina in the 1988-89 season, and out-rebounded the Seminoles, 43-19.
"That was our concentration going in," Maryland coach Chris Weller said, "to keep them out of the lanes and off the boards."
Maryland's 9-0 conference start is its best ever. Only two other ACC teams, Virginia and North Carolina State, have won at least their first nine conference games to begin a season.
Virginia went 9-0 in 1986-87 en route to a 12-2 finish and last season became the first team to survive an ACC season unbeaten, at 14-0.
North Carolina State went 9-0 in the ACC in both 1977-78 and 1979-80. Of the teams that have gone 9-0, only the Wolfpack in 1978-79 failed to win the ACC championship. That season, Maryland beat N.C. State for the title.
Florida State put up resistance at the outset last night, trailing 17-16 seven minutes into the game.
The Seminoles didn't score for the next four minutes, however, and Maryland built a 28-16 advantage. The Terps' edge rose to 20, then 22, and, finally, 24 at halftime.
NOTES: Maryland will travel to No. 21 North Carolina on Saturday before entertaining No. 2 Virginia on Tuesday. . . . Hicks has been named one of 15 finalists for the 1992 Women's Naismith Award given annually to the nation's top player. The junior from Richmond leads the team in scoring average (14.6), rebounding average (6.8) and blocks (31). With 901 career points, she is on track to become the sixth junior in school history to reach the 1,000-point plateau. The other ACC players on the ballot are North Carolina State's Rhonda Mapp and Virginia's Tammi Reiss and Dawn Staley. . . . For the first time in Maryland women's basketball history, advance tickets are on sale, for next Tuesday's game here against No. 2 Virginia. The decision for an advance sale grew out of the walk-up sale of 1,000 for the Clemson game last month that necessitated a long wait in line. Tickets can be purchased at Cole Field House or by calling (301) 314-7070 or (800) IMA-TERP.