Thursday, February 24, 2011

Balanced effort leads Maryland over Florida St.

It wasn't the prettiest performance -- especially with the way Maryland ended the first half -- but the Terps got a much-needed, 78-62 win over Florida St. With the win, the Terps improve to 7-6 in the ACC and 18-10 overall.

Five Terps -- Terrell Stoglin (17), Dino Gregory (14), Adrian Bowie (12), Jordan Williams (11), and Sean Mosley (10) -- scored in double figures, and Maryland shot over 52 percent from the field while holding the Seminoles to 43.4 percent shooting. Both teams turned the ball over a bunch (17 for Florida St., 16 for Maryland), but Maryland won the rebounding battle by a 29-26 margin, made 10 more free throws, and made two more three-pointers. Williams had another double-double, adding 11 rebounds to his 11 points. Gregory collected eight rebounds as well, but no other Terp grabbed more than three. Stoglin also dished out four assists, extending his streak of games with at least 14 points and four assists to five.

For Maryland, though, the story of the second half was defense. After getting complacent in its 1-2-2 (or 3-2) zone in the first half and letting Florida St. back in the game -- the Terps led 38-37 at halftime -- Maryland played hard-nosed, man-to-man defense in the second half and completely shut down Florida St.'s attack. The Seminoles aren't a great offensive team and obviously miss Chris Singleton, their best player, so the Terps tightened the screws in the second half and only allowed 25 points.

The Terps have three ACC games remaining, and they could really use wins in all three. Their next two games are on the road -- at North Carolina and Miami -- before coming home and ending the season against Virginia. Getting to 10 wins in the conference would be huge -- definitely difficult, but huge -- and it's probably something the Terps would need anyway as a starting point to build an NCAA Tournament resume. Anything less than that will likely mean an NIT Tournament invitation (barring an unforeseen run in the ACC Tournament).

(Quick note: Where were all the fans last night? I can't remember seeing a Maryland home ACC game with so many empty seats, and it looked like most of the empty seats were in the students' section (not completely sure though). I know this isn't the best Maryland team of all time, but they're still a pretty exciting team and deserve an amped-up crowd cheering them on.)

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