Jan. 11, 2003
By DAVID GINSBURG
AP Sports Writer
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – An 18-0 run at the start of the game made Maryland’s latest victory over Florida State far easier than anticipated.
Drew Nicholas scored 23 points Saturday, and the 21st-ranked Terrapins parlayed the impressive start into an 89-62 victory, their fifth straight.
Reserve Tahj Holden had 12 points for the Terrapins (9-3, 2-0), who extended their school-record run of Atlantic Coast Conference victories to 14.
“We jumped on ’em right away,” Maryland guard Steve Blake said. “You really don’t expect to get off against another ACC team like that. That just doesn’t happen very often. But it happened, and we’re happy about it.”
Florida State (9-4, 0-2) missed its first eight shots and had five turnovers in falling behind 18-0 with 4? minutes elapsed.
“They’re talented enough where they don’t need anybody giving them anything,” Seminoles coach Leonard Hamilton said. “We kind of assisted them a little bit, and they took advantage.”
Maryland is 14-1 against Florida State since January 1997.
Maryland made its first six shots and went 9-for-11 in going up 25-5.
“That’s not going to happen very often,” Maryland coach Gary Williams said. “They had some looks and didn’t make shots. We made our shots. That’s the nightmare you go through as a coach sometimes.”
Said Hamilton: “We dug a hole for ourselves so deep we could never get out of it.”
The defending NCAA champions hit four 3-pointers during their opening run, including two straight by Blake.
Playing against a team that had held opponents to 35 percent shooting – best in the ACC – Maryland seemingly couldn’t miss.
“We didn’t miss many looks in the first half,” Williams said.
The Terrapins’ defense was just as impressive, forcing turnovers on each of the Seminoles’ first three possessions and keeping Florida State scoreless until Michael Joiner finally ended the drought with a putback.
But the Seminoles couldn’t build any momentum. An alley-oop dunk by Nik Caner-Medley and two baskets by Holden made it 31-7 with 11 minutes elapsed.
Florida State cut the lead to 18 before Nicholas scored five points in a 9-0 burst that put Maryland ahead 44-17.
Despite receiving only three minutes from foul-plagued center Ryan Randle, Maryland was in control at halftime.
It was 55-36 early in the second half before backup guard Calvin McCall scored seven points in a 13-0 run that made it 68-36.
McCall’s 10 points made him one of four Terrapins to reach double figures.
Maryland played without reserve forward Jamar Smith, who was absent because of a death in the family. Smith scored 17 points Wednesday in the Terrapins’ 108-58 win over Hampton.
The Terrapins go to No. 17 Wake Forest on Wednesday and host No. 1 Duke on Saturday.
“You can put this one aside and use whatever good that has come out of this game and get ready for Wake Forest,” Williams said.