February 20, 2007 - by

Florida State Travels To Play At Maryland Wednesday At 9 P.M.

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Feb. 20, 2007

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Florida State, which has won two consecutive games against Maryland for the first time since the 1993 season, travels to play at the Comcast Center against the Terrapins on Wednesday at 9:00 p.m. The Seminoles defeated the Terrapins, 96-79, on Jan. 30 at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee in the first meeting of the 2006-07 season between the two teams. Florida State’s game against Maryland closes out the fourth of five two-game conference series in the ACC’s unbalanced schedule this season. The Seminoles have played Clemson, Georgia Tech and Boston College twice this season and will play the Terps and Miami in their remaining conference games. Florida State travels to Maryland in search of its second conference road victory of the season after winning at then No. 8/10 Duke (Feb. 4, 68-67) for their first road win over a ranked team since defeating No. 18 Maryland in College Park on Feb. 14, 2001. The Seminoles were the last visiting team to win in historic Cole Field House and enter Wednesday’s game against Maryland looking for their first win in the Comcast Center. Florida State has three road wins this season – at Duke, at Stetson (Dec. 5, 82-63) and at Georgia State (Dec. 7, 87-55). Following Wednesday’s game at Maryland, the Seminoles return home as they play host to NC State (Feb. 24, 1:00 p.m.) before closing out their regular season at Miami (March 3, 1:00 p.m.).

THORNTON TOPPING THE ACC PLAYER OF THE YEAR RACE
All-America, ACC Player of the Year and All-ACC First-Team candidate Al Thornton has put himself in position to become the first Seminole to earn ACC Player of the Year honors. He scored 30 points and pulled down a career-high 16 rebounds against Virginia and enters Wednesday’s game against Maryland enjoying the most outstanding season of any player in the nation’s best conference. Thornton is averaging a career-high 19.1 points per game and leads the ACC in conference games only scoring with a 22.4 points per game scoring average. He is the ONLY player in the ACC to rank among the top 10 players in scoring (second, 19.1 ppg, rebounding (eighth, 7.0 rpg), offensive rebounds (first, 3.1 orpg), free throw shooting percentage (fourth, .840) and field goal shooting percentage (seventh, .519). Thornton averages a double-double of 25.4 points and 11.6 rebounds in five games against the top four teams in the ACC (North Carolina, Boston College, Virginia and Virginia Tech). He has three double-doubles in those five games including a 29/12 performance against North Carolina and a 27/13 outing against Virginia Tech.

LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Defeat Maryland and win the two-game season series against the Terps for the first time since the 1992-93 season when the Seminoles won in both Tallahassee and College Park;
…Defeat Maryland and win in College Park for the first time since Feb. 14, 2001 when the Seminoles to a 74-71 victory over the No. 18 ranked Terps;
…Defeat Maryland and gain a victory over the Terps for the fourth time in the last six games. A victory over Maryland would give the Seminoles a three-game winning streak over the Terps for the first time ever. The series between the Seminoles and the Terps began when Florida State joined the ACC for the 1991-92 season.

SEMINOLES LEAD NATION AND ACC IN FREE THROW SHOOTING PERCENTAGE
Florida State, which has shot 75 percent or better from the free throw line in four consecutive and nine of its last 11 games, enters Wednesday’s game against Maryland ranked FIRST in the NATION and FIRST in the ACC in free throw shooting percentage. The Seminoles are shooting a team record .781 from the line and are looking to finish FIRST in the NATION and FIRST in the ACC in the free throw shooting percentage category for the first time in school history.

Seminoles Ranked First Nationally
Rank    Team            FTM    FTA    Pct.     Notes
1.      Florida State   396    507    .7810    ACC Leader
2.      California      342    438    .7808    Pac 10 Leader
3.      Villanova       439    563    .7798    Big East Leader
4.      Utah State      395    512    .7714    WAC Leader
5.      Air Force       370    483    .7660    MWC Leader

INDIVIDUAL SEMINOLES FROM THE FREE THROW LINE
Florida State enters Wednesday’s game against Maryland as the National and ACC leader in free throw shooting percentage. Led by All-America, ACC Player of the Year and All-ACC First-Team candidate Al Thornton, who is shooting a career-high .840 from the free throw line, a total of eight of the nine players in the Seminoles rotation are shooting better than .760 from the free throw line.

Seminoles Sizzling From The Free Throw Line
Player           06-07    Career/Entering Season    Improvement
Jerel Allen      .765     .500                      +.265
Uche Echefu      .764     .545                      +.219
Al Thornton      .840     .641                      +.199
Casaan Breeden   .762     .647                      +.115
Jason Rich       .814     .724                      +.090
Isaiah Swann     .784     .696                      +.088
Team             .781     .704                      +.077

FLORIDA STATE FROM THE FREE THROW LINE IN ACC GAMES
Florida State is shooting an ACC-leading .803 from the free throw line in its 13 ACC games. With each of their last 13 games coming as conference match-ups, the Seminoles are shooting better than 80 percent from the line as a team during the 2007 calendar year.

SEMINOLES FROM THE 3-POINT LINE
Florida State made 10 3-point field goals against Virginia and enters Wednesday’s game against Maryland averaging 6.6 3-point field goals made in their 27 games this season. The Seminoles are averaging more 3-point field goals made per game this season (6.6 in 2006-07 / 6.1 in 2006-06) and have made nearly as many shots from the bonusphere in 27 games this season (178) as compared to last season in 30 games (184). Florida State’s current total of 178 3-point field goals made this season is tied for the ninth best single-season team effort in school history. Florida State needs to make only nine more 3-point field goals this season to earn one of the top-five 3-point shooting marks since the NCAA began keeping statistics on the 3-point shot during the 1986-87 season.

SEMINOLES ON THE BLOCK
Florida State has blocked more shots in 27 games this season (85 / 3.1 bpg) than it did in 30 games during the 2005-06 season (72 / 2.4 bpg). The Seminoles have earned more (or at least as many) blocked shots as their opponents in three of the last four seasons.

PROBABLE STARTERS FOR FLORIDA STATE
F	#12	Al Thornton (19.1 ppg, 7.0 rpg; 27 pts and 12 rebs vs. Maryland, Feb. 22, 2006)
F	#41	Uche Echefu (7.0 ppg, 4.2 rpg; 5 pts and 5 rebs vs. Maryland, Jan. 30, 2007)
G	#3	Isaiah Swann (9.5 ppg, 3.2 apg; 15 pts and 4 rebs vs. Maryland, Jan. 30. 2007)
G	#10	Ralph Mims (5.0 ppg, 2.3 apg; 3 pts and 3 rebs vs. Maryland, Feb. 22, 2006)
G	#25	Jason Rich (10.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg; 24 pts and 3 rebs vs. Maryland, Jan. 30, 2007)
...AND TOP RESERVES
G	#11	Jerel Allen (5.0 ppg, 2.2 rpg; 7 pts on 1 3FGM vs. Maryland, Feb. 22, 2006)
F	#15	Casaan Breeden (3.2 ppg, 1.1 rpg; 3 pts on 1 3FGM vs. Maryland, Jan. 30, 2007)
F	#42	Ryan Reid (2.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg; 2 pts and 3 rebs vs. Maryland, Jan. 30, 2007)

PROBABLE STARTERS FOR MARYLAND
F	#15	James Gist (12.9 ppg, 7.1 rpg; 23 pts and 4 rebs vs. Florida State, Jan. 30, 2007)
F	#25	Ekene Ibekwe (10.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg; 15 pts and 8 rebs vs. Florida State. Feb. 22, 2006)
G	#2	D.J. Strawberry (14.9 ppg, 4.3 apg; 11 pts and 4 stls vs. Florida State, Dec. 19, 2004)
G	#21	Greivis Vasquez (10.1 pp g, 4.3 apg; 13 pts and 3 asts vs. Florida State, Jan. 30, 2007)
G	#23	Mike Jones (12.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg; 9 pts and 2 rebs vs. Florida State, Jan. 30, 2007)

FLORIDA STATE VS. MARYLAND– A SERIES HISTORY
The Series: Maryland leads, 24-9
Last Game: Jan. 30, 2007; at Florida State 96, Maryland 79
Last Florida State Win: Jan. 30, 2007; at Florida State 96, Maryland 79
Last Maryland Win: Dec. 19, 2004; at Maryland 90, Florida State 88 (OT)
Last Florida State Win in College Park: Feb. 14, 2001; Florida State 74, at Maryland 71
Last Maryland Win in College Park: Dec. 19, 2004; at Maryland 90, Florida State 88 (OT)
Current Streak vs. Maryland: Florida State has won 2
Leonard Hamilton vs. Maryland: 3-4

FLORIDA STATE VS. MARYLAND – THE LAST GAME
Al Thornton scored 27 points and Jason Rich added a career-high 24 points as Florida State defeated Maryland 96-79 on Jan. 30, 2007 at the Donald L. Tucker center in Tallahassee. Florida State made 30 of its first 43 shots to maintain a double-digit lead for most of the second half as it evened its ACC record halfway through the conference schedule after an 0-3 start. Thornton made 12 of 17 shots and grabbed a game-high eight rebounds while Rich was 10 of 12 from the field for Florida State, which shot 61.7 percent for the game and enjoyed a 33-19 rebound advantage. Florida State led 49-46 in a sizzling first half. The Seminoles, who led by as many as six on four occasions in the half, hit 18 of 28 for 64.3 percent with Maryland 19 of 30 for 63.3 percent. Maryland was led by James Gist’s 23 points. Greivis Vasquez added 13 and Ekene Ibekwe 10. Toney Douglas added 16 and Isaiah Swann 15 – including a pair of four-point plays when he was fouled on 3-point baskets – for Florida State.

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