Feb. 28, 2010
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) -Eager to ring up a feel-good victory before entering the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, No. 9 Florida State got exactly what it was looking for against struggling Maryland.
The Seminoles gained a share of first place in the ACC and extended their winning streak to eight games with a 94-61 rout Sunday that was never in doubt after halftime.
“It’s a big win for us going into the ACC tournament,” coach Sue Semrau said. “We had a really balanced game inside, and then our 3-point shooting was fantastic.”
Courtney Ward and Christian Hunnicutt each scored 15 points, Angel Gray had 14 and Jacinta Monroe added 13 for the Seminoles (26-4, 12-2). Florida State shot 59 percent, went 12 for 16 from beyond the arc and forced 23 turnovers.
The 75 percent shooting from 3-point range was the best by FSU since March 2004 against Richmond.
The Seminoles went 8-0 in February and will enter the ACC tournament, which begins Thursday, as the No. 2 seed behind Duke. The Blue Devils and Florida State finished tied atop the standings, but Duke gets the top seed because it won the only game between the teams.
“We’re excited to show what we can do in the ACC tournament and the NCAAs,” Monroe said.
Diandra Tchatchouang led Maryland with 23 points and Lynetta Kizer added 17. The Terrapins (18-11, 5-9) have lost five of seven and are 6-9 since starting 12-2.
“Tip your hat to Florida State. They came in and showed why their ranking is very deserving,” Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. “It’s a very talented team. From our end, it was not very typical of how we play. I thought we played one of our worst games to this point of the season.”
Florida State shot 62 percent from the floor in taking a 47-32 halftime lead, then opened the second half with a 15-4 run to go up by 26. The margin reached 30 with 12:17 remaining.
The Seminoles were 0-4 against the Terps since January 2005, but this is a young Maryland squad in danger of missing the NCAA tournament for the first time in seven seasons.
On Senior Day at Comcast Center, Frese bid farewell to only one player: Illinois transfer Lori Bjork, who played one season at Maryland.
Hunnicutt scored 11 points, and Florida State went 7 for 10 from 3-point range in the first half.
After Maryland made the game’s first three baskets, Semrau took a timeout. Florida State responded with a 10-4 spurt that tied it, and minutes later, Hunnicutt and Gray hit successive 3-pointers to cap a 12-2 run that put the Seminoles in front 22-17.
The lead would not change hands again. It was 33-29 before Hunnicutt connected twice from beyond the arc during a 13-3 spree at the end of the half.
Monroe began the second half by hitting a jumper, Gray drilled a 3-pointer and Chasity Clayton followed with two free throws for a 22-point lead.