Feb. 13, 1997
Terps Now Alone in Third in ACC
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Keith Booth scored 17 points and number 10 Maryland earned a split of the season-series with Florida State with a 73-57 victory in an Atlantic Coast Conference game.
Obinna Ekezie added 15 points for the Terrapins (19-5, 8-4 ACC) who moved into sole possession of third place in the conference, one-half game ahead of Clemson and one-half game behind second-place Duke.
James Collins scored 24 points to lead Florida State (13-8, 4-8), which lost at Maryland for the fourth straight time.
The Seminoles played without starting forward Randell Jackson, who was suffering from a hip flexor and groin injury. He averages 10.7 points per game.
Florida State started quickly, taking its largest lead of the game at 16-6 on a three-pointer from the corner by Collins with 13:15 left in the first half. But the Seminoles would score only two points over the next 8:56 as the Terrapins took control of the game.
Sarunas Jasikevicius hit a three-pointer and Rodney Elliott made a pair of free throws to cut the deficit to 16-11 with 11:38 to play. Ron Hale's basket increased the Florida State lead to 18-11 with 10:57 remaining, but Laron Profit scored six points and Booth had four in a 16-0 run as Maryland took a 27-18 lead with 5:04 to play in the first half.
"We found out right before the game started that Randell Jackson wasn't going to play for Florida State," Maryland coach Gary Williams said. "We didn't know that earlier. We decided that we were going to go inside on them. We were able to get a good lead on them and maintain it."
Florida State would finally score again on Collins' layup with 4:19 to play in the first half. Maryland led, 38-27 at the half.
Maryland opened the second half with a 7-2 run to take a 44-29 lead with 18:19 left, but Florida State was able to close to within eight points on Hale's three-pointer with 12:21 remaining. But the Terps responded with a 16-3 run, with Ekezie accounting for five points, to take their largest lead at 71-50 with 2:47 to play.
"Without Randell Jackson we just could not afford to get in foul trouble-- and we did," Florida State coach Pat Kennedy said. "It really hurt us. We lost our aggressiveness and Maryland just kept coming after us. They moved us around and basically just manhandled us. Not to mention the revenge factor coming in."
Profit finished with 14 points and eight rebounds and Elliott had 12 and eight rebounds for Maryland, which shot 44 percent (24-for-55) from the field. Booth and Ekezie each grabbed 11 boards for the Terps, helping them to a commanding 47-31 rebounding margin.
Corey Louis had 10 points for Florida State, which shot 36