COLLEGE PARK, Md. (CBS DC) — Maryland struggled to start the game, but turned things around later in the first half.  Unfortunately for them, when the turnover bug bit harder in the second half, the Terps were unable to recover and dropped their first conference game of the season as Florida State snapped their 13-game winning streak overall.

“You know, I give Florida State a lot of credit… and then at the end they just had the best player in Okara White,” coach Mark Turgeon said after the game.  He continued, “We didn’t play well, but give them the credit for us not playing well.”

Florida State certainly found a way to frustrate the Terps and forced them into an even higher number of turnovers.  Maryland finished the game with 18 turnovers (to just 13 assists) in one of their sloppier games of the season.  While Maryland has been one of the worst teams in the country at turning the ball over, they generally do enough on the boards to overcome their high number of turnovers.

That was the case in the first half, but not the second.  Maryland finished with a +15 advantage in rebounding in the first half, but were -12 in the second half.  Florida State found a way to beat Maryland to what seemed like every rebound in their offensive half.

As bad as the rebounding and turnovers were in the second half, Maryland’s impatience turned into panic in their half-court offense as they couldn’t get on the break and shot just 31.3 percent in the second half.  That’s nearly twenty points below what they have been shooting on the season.  Obviously with conference play starting that number was bound to drop, but not this drastically — and certainly not that quick.

The panic in the offensive sets was most evident on their final play.  Maryland could get a two to tie, or a three to win.  The issue started with Seth Allen picking the ball up immediately rather than letting it roll.  That was compounded when Alex Len’s screen was set too low near the three point line — rather than half-court, where it was supposed to be — and Allen’s indecisiveness once the big man jumped out at him.  All this led to a contested three by Allen that was blocked easily by Florida State’s Michael Snaer.

Maryland needs to regroup quickly as they’ll face another intriguing team in the ACC.   The Terps will head on their first road trip in the ACC when they face Miami this coming Sunday.  The Hurricanes have had a surprise win (over Michigan State), but also have two bizarre losses (Florida-Gulf Coast and Indiana State).  Miami plays North Carolina on Thursday, so Maryland may be the fresher team when the two meet.


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