No team had shot more than 50% against the Florida State Seminoles in 50 games. At halftime, Maryland was doing it. They had a 14 point lead and a +9 rebounding advantage against a team that was significantly taller than they were.
None of that mattered, though, when Florida State went on an 11 point run and cut the lead to 4 midway through the second half. Maryland couldn't score and Florida State couldn't miss. That's when Greivis Vasquez comes in.
Vasquez, who had just 5 points in the first half, came alive in the second half and sparked an 11-2 run that pushed the lead back up to 13 and nearly brought the Comcast Center down. Despite some minor runs that kept Florida State within single digits, the game was never again in doubt. Maryland coasted to the finish to grab a win in their ACC opener, 77-68.
The win is not only the first ACC win for the Terps, it also marks their first win over a top 25 team, as the Noles checked in at #18. Maryland turns around quickly to play Wake Forest on Tuesday in Winston-Salem.
Vasquez ended up keeping Maryland in it and was easily the best performer of the second half - he finished with 22, 17 in the second half, for his sixth straight game with 20+ - but solid performances weren't hard to find for Maryland. Eric Hayes had a great first half and was perhaps more solid and consistent than Vasquez himself. Landon Milbourne was exceedingly solid, if unspecatular, and had more than a few big baskets. Dino Gregory asserted himself and was even more impressive than the past two games, in which I thought he had fully arrived. He still has plenty to work out, but the midrange jumper was working and he was solid on the boards.
Sean Mosley and Jordan Williams were surprisingly quiet. Not bad, but quiet. Williams has a bit of an excuse in that Solomon Alabi was his matchup, not easy for anyone. Mosley, I guess, was just quiet. That's not to say he was bad - there were multiple times when I said "I love Sean Mosley", but they were rarer than usual. Actually, James Padgett was surprisingly good - he's really coming along nicely.
Rebounding was definitely a close margin. I can't find the stats yet, but it had to be close to even, and that's an accomplishment when you consider FSU's height. The shooting percentage dropped from its earlier 50%, surely, but it was better than expected.
I need to digest a little more. Right now, though, I can't imagine the game, realistically, going much better - Vasquez was great, the supporting roles supported, and the performance was all-around solid against a team that was ranked and in conference. More coming later tonight and tomorrow.