Feb. 12, 2003
By BRENT KALLESTAD
Associated Press Writer
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Maryland coach Gary Williams loves having a senior point guard on the court in close road games.
Steve Blake, the school’s all-time assists leader, scored Maryland’s final seven points, including four free throws in the final 17.5 seconds, as the 16th-ranked Terrapins rebounded from two straight losses with a 74-72 victory at Florida State on Wednesday night.
“There is no one better when the game gets tough,” Williams said. “When the game is on the line, he’s there for us.”
Blake, who finished with 15 points, made a 3-pointer from the corner to break a 67-67 tie with 2:36 left and then clinched the win with his clutch free throws.
“I wanted to shoot those free throws,” Blake said. “I’d rather have the blame on me if we missed.”
Maryland (15-6, 7-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) was leading the league until successive losses last week to Virginia and Georgia Tech.
“After the last two games, our confidence was not good,” Williams said. “This was a big win for the rest of the season.”
The Terps, who trail ACC leader Wake Forest by a game in the loss column, shot just 38.3 percent from the field, but hit 20 of 23 free throws.
“They made the plays they had to make,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said.
“We’ve made team progress, but we need to find a way to win,” Hamilton said. “This is testing our faith.”
Florida State (11-10, 2-8 Atlantic Coast Conference) got within a point at 70-69 on Todd Galloway’s layup with 17.5 seconds left and Blake was fouled on the inbounds pass before any time could go off the clock.
Blake hit both free throws for a 72-69 lead and was fouled again with 4.9 seconds remaining after a missed Florida State shot. He again hit both tries as Maryland went ahead 74-69.
Galloway’s 3-pointer at the buzzer closed out the scoring.
Maryland was led by Drew Nicholas, who scored 20 points, including a layup that tied the game at 67 with 314 left.
Trevor Harvey led Florida State with a career-high 19 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. He scored 15 points in the second half, including a dunk that gave the Seminoles a 67-65 lead with 3:35 left.
“Trevor played every possession when he was on the court,” Hamilton said of his 6-foot-11 senior center.