Terps scare off Fla. State with Smith monster

January 12, 1994|By Don Markus | Don Markus,Staff Writer

COLLEGE PARK -- The reversed fortunes of the Maryland and Florida State basketball teams were on full display last night at Cole Field House. And so was freshman center Joe Smith, putting on yet another monsterish performance for the Terrapins.

With Smith getting 23 points to go along with a career high of 20 rebounds, Maryland equaled last year's regular-season win total vTC in the Atlantic Coast Conference with an 80-74 victory over the slumping Seminoles before another sellout of 14,500. Smith also tied a career high with six blocked shots.

While Maryland (9-3, 2-1) wasn't as sharp as it was in its first two league games, the Terps had enough to hold on. Florida State (7-4, 0-3), playing again without point guard Charlie Ward, and with leading scorer Bobby Sura in foul trouble and not looking to score until the very end, didn't have enough to come back.

Leading by 13 with a little less than eight minutes left, Maryland watched as the Seminoles closed to within four points, 72-68, with a little more than a minute left. Sura fouled out with 31.5 seconds left after scoring only 13 points, and reserve forward Mario Lucas seemingly nailed the victory with a pair of free throws.

But Seminoles reserve center Kirk Luckman made a power layup amid a tangle of bodies with 22.1 seconds left, and was fouled. His free throw made it 74-71. But Florida State's Scott Shepherd was called for a rather suspect foul away from the ball with 22 seconds left.

Johnny Rhodes made one of two to increase the lead to four, and after James Collins missed a three, Smith was fouled and made one to wrap up the victory. Or so it seemed. Chuckie Graham was fouled on a three-point attempt with 5.1 seconds, and his three free throws cut it back to four. But Kurtis Shultz found Exree Hipp for a breakaway dunk to put an exclamation point on the victory.

After blowing all but one point of what had been an early 11-point lead by halftime, then losing it on Florida State's first possession of the second half, Maryland regained the lead on a layup by Rhodes and never relinquished it again.

An 8-2 run pushed the Terps ahead by five, 44-39, and Hipp had a chance to make it seven with a pair of free throws. He missed both, opening the door for the Seminoles.

But following two free throws by junior forward Maurice Robinson, Maryland scored six straight points, the last two coming on a short pull-up jumper by reserve guard Matt Kovaric with 11:50 to go, to go ahead by nine. Following a timeout by Florida State, and a rare basket by Sura, the Terps went up by 11 again on a turnaround by Smith and a lob dunk by Hipp.

After a three-point shot by Seminoles guard Andre Cooper trimmed it back to eight, 56-48, the Terps starting making their shots. A layup by Booth and a three-pointer by Hipp with 7:49 left gave Maryland its biggest lead, 61-48, and forced Pat Kennedy into another timeout.

Though they were not all that sharp, the Terps built a 23-12 lead midway through the first half as two early ACC trends continued: lots of production from Smith, loads of turnovers by the Seminoles.

Smith had eight points, two blocks and a couple of early steals to trigger Maryland's fast start. Florida State, which came into the night making twice as many turnovers as assists in its first two league games, had trouble hanging onto the ball.

But the Terps had problems hanging onto the lead. Even as the Seminoles kept throwing passes away, even after Sura picked up his third personal with 9:23 left in the first half, Florida State stormed back and took advantage of Maryland's stumble.

The Seminoles scored six straight points during a 15-6 run that cut their deficit to two, 29-27, on a foul line jumper by Graham with three minutes left. During that stretch, the Terps went more than six minutes without a basket.

After Maryland pulled back ahead by 33-28 on a lob dunk by Hipp, the Seminoles finished the half with a 6-1 run, sandwiching a pair of three-pointers around a free throw by Smith. A three-pointer by Shepherd at the buzzer cut Maryland's halftime lead to one, 34-33.

It was to Florida State's credit to keep so close, considering that Sura had taken only one shot the entire half (he made it) before taking a seat on the bench following his third foul. It also was surprising, considering they had made 16 first-half turnovers. But Maryland's 12-of-33 shooting helped keep it close.

ACC STANDINGS

# Conference Overall

.. .. .. .. .. W .. L .. .. Pct .. W .. L .. .. Pct

Duke ... .. .. 2 .. 0 ... 1.000 . 10 .. 0 ... 1.000

N.Carolina ... 2 .. 0 ... 1.000 . 12 .. 1 .. . .923

Virginia .. .. 2 .. 0 ... 1.000 .. 8 .. 3 .. . .727

W. Forest . .. 1 .. 0 ... 1.000 . 10 .. 3 .. . .769

Maryland .. .. 2 .. 1 .. . .667 .. 9 .. 3 .. . .750

Clemson ... .. 0 .. 1 .. . .000 .. 7 .. 4 .. . .636

Ga. Tech .. .. 0 .. 2 .. . .000 .. 9 .. 3 .. . .750

N.C. State ... 0 .. 2 .. . .000 .. 4 .. 8 .. . .333

Fla. St. .. .. 0 .. 3 .. . .000 .. 7 .. 4 .. . .636

Yesterday's result

Maryland 80, Florida State 74

Today's games

Virginia at Clemson, 8 p.m.

N. Carolina at Georgia Tech, 9 p.m.

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