Terps hang tough vs. Seminoles

Maryland 71, Florida State 67

Vasquez scores 23, guides UM to hard-fought win

February 05, 2010|By Jeff Barker | jeff.barker@baltsun.com

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — It wasn't so long ago that Maryland was piling up double-digit victories to begin the Atlantic Coast Conference schedule. But three of those four games were at home.

Life on the road, as the Terps well know, is an entirely different proposition.

For the second game in a row, Maryland found itself in a low-scoring, rugby scrum of a game on Thursday night. This time, the Terps, who had lost such a game at Clemson on Sunday, defeated Florida State, 71-67, behind 23 points by Greivis Vasquez and 18 from Landon Milbourne.

It was the second ACC road victory of the season for the Terps (15-6, 5-2 ACC). "This was really a good win for us," said Maryland coach Gary Williams, who credited the Terps with remaining composed when the crowd was at its loudest in the second half.

With the score tied at 64, Vasquez hit a runner to put the Terps up by two. Florida State took the ball with 38.5 seconds left, but Michael Snaer's basket in the lane was taken away by a charging foul that drew boos from the crowd.

Leading 69-66, the Terps fouled intentionally to prevent the 3. Florida State's Chris Singleton hit one free throw to make it 69-67. He tried missing the second on purpose, but the Terps took possession and won it on free throws.

"It's definitely tough to get road wins and we wanted to come out there and take it," said Milbourne, who rebounded after struggling in his previous game at Clemson. "I definitely wanted to bounce back from that game."

The Terps had led 60-52 when Florida State made a run.

A drive and foul shot by Snaer made it 60-55 with about five minutes left. Two foul shots by Solomon Alabi cut the margin to three, and Singleton's dunk off a Vasquez turnover pulled the Seminoles to within 60-59.

The Seminoles tied the game at 62 on a 3-pointer by Derwin Kitchen, who scored a game-high 29 on 12-for-16 shooting.

Maryland was led most of the night by Vasquez, who seemed to feed off the hostile crowd. He also had seven rebounds and seven assists.

"They hate me all over the ACC," Vasquez said with a smile.

The Seminoles fans began booing and taunting the senior in the opening minutes and continued throughout the game.

The taunts only intensified when Vasquez did a shoulder shimmy after hitting a 3-pointer to push Maryland's lead to 43-36 midway through the second half.

Maryland had been averaging 81 points a game before losing, 62-53, to Clemson.

But the Terps -- who play an energetic style of defense -- do not seem to mind low-scoring affairs. Both Maryland and Florida State entered the game rated high in field-goal percentage defense -- a category in which the Seminoles, at 36.2 percent, led the nation.

Milbourne, who shot 1-for-8 at Clemson and scored just three points, seemed determined to get into the scoring early for the Terps.

After Florida State jumped to a 5-0 lead, Milbourne scored six straight Maryland points to lift the Terps to an 11-9 lead. He followed that with a decisive block on a Singleton shot in the lane.

The Terps trailed 29-25 at the half -- a score that largely resulted from the taller Seminoles outrebounding Maryland 26-16.

Milbourne hit a jumper to tie the game at 29 early in the second half. Hayes followed with a 3-pointer to lift the Terps to a 32-29 lead.

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