Saturday, Feb. 8 brought the second matchup between Maryland and Florida State within a 30-day period. When the Terrapins traveled to Tallahassee in January, they lost 85-61. This game marks the final matchup during regular season play between these two teams, and Maryland’s fifth to final home game as part of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). The Terps entered the game 13-10 overall, 5-5 in the ACC; while the Seminoles were 14-8 overall, 5-5 in the ACC.
Starting for the Terps were sophomores Seth Allen, Charles Mitchell, and Jake Layman and juniors Evan Smotrycz and Dez Wells. Sophomores Aaron Thomas, Montay Brandon, and Michael Ojo and seniors Okaro White and Robert Gilchrist started for the ‘Noles.
Aaron Thomas began gameplay for the Seminoles with a big shot behind the arc to put FSU three over on Maryland. Off a foul by FSU’s Michael Ojo, MD’s Evan Smotrycz went to the line, hitting one of his two free throws. Then, a steal and dunk by Jake Layman tied the game 3-3. Florida State answered back with a dunk of their own by Michael Ojo. Seth Allen came up big for Maryland with a 3-pointer, followed by a layup by Charles Mitchell to put the Terps up by three (8-5) at a little over three minutes into the game. Florida State would never regain the lead. FSU sophomore guard Aaron Thomas said, “[Allen] didn’t play well the first game we played and in this one he got going early. I don’t think we did a good job containing him.” The Terps went up by seven (30-23) in a short run with under six minutes to play before Seth Allen (who scored 21 of his 32 total points in the first half) was fouled on a 3-point attempt and made all three shots from the line. Jake Layman made a hit from behind the arc with 57 seconds on the clock to send Maryland into the locker room with a 46-29 lead over FSU. “We finished the first half well, and built that lead and maintained in in the second half,” said the Terrapins’ head coach Mark Turgeon.
In the second half, the Terrapins went up by 20 with just over 11 minutes to play. The Terps gave up some points in the end and allowed FSU to cut their lead to just eight. Dez Wells contributed 13 of his total 15 points in the second half, and everyone, with the exception of Nick Faust (who scored six in the first half); also put points on the board during the half. Something about this kid with 57 seconds on the clock: Jake Layman hustles for a loose ball to gain a key possession for the Terps. Smotrycz hit one of two at the line off a foul by Okaro White, and Dez Wells went two for two at the line off a foul by Aaron Thomas. “My teammates got me open in transition and I was just making three pointers. It felt good; the win felt even better. They beat us bad [in the last game] so we came into tonight with a chip on our shoulders,” Seth Allen said of his and his team’s performance.
Of the Terrapins’ performance, Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton said, “they reversed the ball several different times, almost each possession, and broke our defense down. They did a good job of executing.”
Finishing with a career-high 32 points, Seth Allen led the Terps, followed by Dez Wells with 15 points and Jake Layman with 12. For the Seminoles, Aaron Thomas led with 17 points, followed by Devon Bookert with 14, Okaro White with 12, and Montay Brandon with 11.
“Seth Allen was on another level tonight. He’s making shots and he guards better too,” Coach Turgeon said. “A really good win for us. We played really well. We shared the ball and took care of the ball until the very end. [Florida State] is a good team and athletic. I was really proud of our team.”
Maryland will hit the road next to play #20 Virginia on Monday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. The game will air live on ESPN. Following the game against Virginia, the Terps will travel to Cameron Indoor Stadium to face rival Duke on Saturday, Feb. 15 at 6 p.m. in their solo matchup this season; that game will also air on ESPN. Maryland will return home Tuesday, Feb. 18 to face Wake Forest at 7 p.m.