“We didn't play well but give them a lot of credit why we didn't play well,” Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon said after the game. “We were never in sync. We panicked offensively. We panicked as players and as a coaching staff a little bit. We couldn't figure it out. We kept subbing guys in and different things. We will watch the film and try to learn from it.”
“It's a good learning experience for us because we have 16 more games,” Maryland sophomore center Alex Len said. “We've got to learn from this game and just keep working hard to get better every day.”
The Terrapins' 65-62 loss to the Florida State was a result of their sloppy play, with the Terps committing 18 turnovers overall. The Terps also shot terribly, finishing 36.7 percent from the field overall and making only 31.3 percent of their shots during the second half when they saw their lead slip away. Florida State also shot 36.7 percent on the night, but Okaro White led them down the stretch with 20 points and nine rebounds. The Seminoles also outscored the Terps in the paint, 28-22.
“I think when we were up 10 or 11 in the first half it should have been 15 or 16,” Turgeon said. “We were missing wide open shots and throwing the ball out of bounds. We had six turnovers at the first timeout. They weren't making shots. I felt like there were a lot of opportunities for us in the first half. I knew at the first possession of the second half that it was going to be a grinder. I ran a play and we didn't get anything, just threw it out of bounds. We had a lot of guys not make good decisions tonight. Give them credit, this is the first time we have seen that kind of defense for 40 minutes. We didn't handle it very well.”
The Maryland Terrapins came into the matchup against the Seminoles with a 29-11 all-time series lead. The Terps fell to the Seminoles last season in Tallahassee, Fla., 70-84. Florida State would eventually the ACC Championship in 2012.
Len led the Terps with 15 points and 10 rebounds and Seth Allen had 13 points, but turned the ball over five times. Nick Faust started the game after missing most of Saturday's win over Virginia Tech with back spasms. Faust finished with 14 points and 4-of-6 shooting from downtown.
The Terps struggled early, committing five turnovers in the first three minutes as neither team was able to pull ahead. Then a series of three pointers from Faust, freshman Jake Layman and Faust again gave the Terps a 14-9 lead seven minutes into the first half. More foul trouble kept the game close for the first ten minutes, but steady three-point shooting helped Maryland pull away and enter halftime with a 36-27 lead.
Sloppy play in the second half helped Florida State crawl back into the game. A turnover from Wells led to a Terrence Shannon basket for the Seminoles and Ian Miller converted an and-one attempt to cut Maryland's lead to one with less than 13 minutes to play in the game. After neither team could score for about four minutes, Florida State's White finally scored to give the Seminoles the lead. White would score again to take a three-point lead, but Maryland's Logan Aronhalt tied the game up at 46-46 with a three-point basket from the corner of the court. White would score another six straight points to take a 50-48 lead with five and a half minutes to play. The Seminoles would take a 59-51 lead into the final minute, but Len would record a dunk and Allen would sink a three-pointer to give the Terps some hope in the final 30 seconds and the Terps would pull within two off another three-pointer from Faust but they would fall short.
“Seth had probably made up his mind that he was going to shoot it,” Turgeon said. “I wish Alex [Len] would have set that screen more by half court rather than the key where he set it. That would have opened up the floor a little bit more. I was pretty loud in there it was hard to communicate. We were saying that we could take a two...They zoned up on it pretty good and he couldn't get by it so he had to take the shot.”
“On that last play, Coach [Turgeon] called a ball screen at the top for me,” Allen said. “It was a little low. It was supposed to be set a little higher. I tried to go left, but their big showed, so I cut back right and then I pulled up and [Michael] Snaer was there to make a great play on the shot. I'm going to learn from it. I wanted to attack but I didn't feel like I had enough time. I probably did. I'm just going to learn from this mistake. I'm young, a freshman, I have a lot more games to play. In the future, if I ever get an opportunity like that, I plan on driving to the basket to try to get fouled or make a layup.”
Snaer finished with 15 points, but it was his one block on the night that sealed the win for the Seminoles. Miller added another 12 points for the Seminoles and Terrance Shannon grabbed eight rebounds.
With the loss, the Maryland Terrapins fall to 13-2 on the season and 1-1 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Florida State Seminoles improve to 10-5 overall and 2-0 in the ACC for the first time in school history. The Maryland Terrapins will travel to Miami to face the Miami Hurricanes on Sunday night for their first road trip since the BB&T Classic at the Verizon Center back on Dec. 2. Tip off is scheduled for 8 p.m.