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Maryland 85, Florida St. 59
Posted: Friday March 08, 2002 08:15 PM
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CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) -- When Florida State gave Maryland a nudge, the Terrapins pushed back.

Juan Dixon scored 20 points and second-ranked Maryland awoke in the second half en route to an 85-59 victory over Florida State in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.

The tournament's top seed, Maryland (26-3) won its 13th straight game and will face North Carolina State, which defeated Virginia, on Saturday.

The Terrapins squandered all but one point of a 12-point halftime lead early in the second half before exploded for 21 unanswered points, beginning with a 3-pointer by Steve Blake. Maryland held FSU scoreless for over seven minutes and took a 63-41 lead with 7:56 remaining.

"We didn't play our best but obviously Florida State had something to do with that early," Maryland coach Gary Williams said. "It took us a long time to get moving the way we can really move." Maryland led 40-28 at halftime, but eighth-seeded Florida State went on a 13-2 run, keyed by 10 points from Monte Cummings. A three-point play by Trevor Harvey cut the deficit to 42-41 before the Terps exploded following a timeout.

"We knew coming into the game that Florida State was going to test us," Dixon said. "They played a tremendous game last night (to defeat Clemson). It was an emotional win and we knew they weren't going to be tired." The Terps forced seven turnovers during the dominating run.

Byron Mouton made two free throws, Tahj Holden had a basket and Dixon sank a 3-pointer to make it 52-41.

Holden finally capped the run with a tip-in before Anthony Richardson ended the Seminole drought with a free throw.

Cummings had 19 points for Florida State (12-17), which closed the season with 10 losses in its last 12 games.

"They are an explosive team. One basket can lead to two, and two baskets can lead to three," Florida State coach Steve Robinson said. "You give Juan and the rest of those players momentum, and their shots started falling. We tried harder and the harder we tried, it seemed we got more resistance in terms of the ball going in." Mouton had 18 points for Maryland, which captured its first ACC regular-season title since 1980 with a 15-1 mark in conference play. Lonny Baxter and Blake each had 10 points.

"We figured we had to start running our cuts hard," Mouton said. "When we started moving and making our cuts hard, that had a lot to do with why we won by 26 points." The Terps had a 13-0 run in the first half, including six points by Mouton, to take a 19-7 lead with 13:23 left.

 


 
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