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Maryland's defense disarms Seminoles

Terrapins hold Florida State to 6-for-27 and Tim Pickett to two points after halftime to win 73-62.

Associated Press
Published February 9, 2004

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Jamar Smith had 16 points and 14 rebounds, and Maryland received a strong performance from Chris McCray on both ends of the floor as it rolled past Florida State 73-62 Sunday.

Nik Caner-Medley scored 14 and D.J. Strawberry 12 for the Terrapins, who are counting on a strong finish in the regular season to earn an 11th straight bid to the NCAA Tournament.

The push began Wednesday with a win at Virginia and continued against the Seminoles, who beat Maryland in December. The key this time was shutting down FSU guard Tim Pickett in the second half and limiting the Seminoles to 6-for-27 shooting during the final 20 minutes.

McCray did the brunt of the work on Pickett, who scored 18 in the first half but was limited to two after halftime.

"Those 18 points, I put all that on me," McCray said. "I wanted to come back in the second half and defend most of his shots. I think we wore him down."

Battling foul trouble and the aggressive McCray, Pickett missed all four of his field-goal attempts after halftime.

"They did a good job not letting me get shots in the second half," Pickett said. "They got the momentum and stole one from us."

The victory ended the Terrapins' first two-game home losing streak since 1993. FSU has lost 20 straight ACC road games.

"Maryland did a good job of making us work for everything in the second half," Seminoles coach Leonard Hamilton said. "It was amazing we were in striking distance late when we hadn't played that well."

FSU trailed by four until McCray made two free throws with 52 seconds left. McCray then stole a pass, was fouled intentionally and added another free throw to make it 69-62.

"We had to get back on track on our homecourt," McCray said.

It was the ninth double double of the season for Smith, Maryland's lone senior. John Gilchrist scored 11, including four free throws in the final minute, and McCray added 10 for the Terrapins (13-7, 4-5).

The Seminoles (16-7, 4-5) missed their first seven shots of the second half and fell behind 43-38. Michael Joiner ended the drought with a 3-pointer, but FSU missed its next seven field goals before a dunk by Alexander Johnson cut Maryland's lead to 52-47.

McCray scored five straight, including a three-point play. Pickett picked up his fourth foul on the drive and spent the next two minutes on the bench.

"Being in foul trouble made my game slow down a lot," Pickett said. "I had to be a little conservative after the fourth foul."

The Seminoles ran off an 8-3 spurt without him, closing to 60-55 on a 3-pointer by Von Wafer. Caner-Medley hit a 3-pointer to help Maryland build the lead to 66-57.

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