FanPost

WBB - Terps fall 72-71 in Tallahassee - This one had to be seen to be believed

It was senior night in Tallahassee and Maryland started the game as though they wanted to wrap a nice present for the Florida State seniors giving up four turnovers on their first five possessions. Alicia DeVaughn broke the ice scoring on a put back three minutes in. Fortunately for the visitors, they did what they do best: rebound and play defense. On the defensive end they forced three FSU turnovers and holding the Seminoles scoreless for six and a half minutes. The Terps took a 12-4 lead into the under twelve minute time out. Florida State came out of the time out with and scored with one second left on the shot clock which ignited an 11-2 run that put the Noles in front for the first time at 15-14 at the third media time out. Maryland continued their early generosity turning the ball over with distracting regularity and hoisting up ill considered shots that had the same effect as a turnover as the home team moved out to a 21-16 lead. A Thomas lay up and a Rutan three pointer pulled the Terps even and forced a Seminole time out. Coming out of the time out FSU put together a four point run and they took that as their lead into halftime at 29-25 Maryland finished the half with fourteen turnovers. The turnovers and some defensive lapses let Florida State make 12 of their last 22 shots and finish the first session out shooting the Terps 42.9% to 40.7% despite the home team missing their first six shots. The Terps held a 19-13 edge on the boards.

The Terps forced a Florida State turnover on the first possession of the half but failed to capitalize and two offensive put backs that opened the door for a traditional three point play and a seven point lead for the home team. Coach Frese sat freshman point guard Chloe Pavelch and moved Thomas to the point despite her seven first half turnovers. The Terps stayed within striking distance thanks largely to the shooting of Xavier transfer Katie Rutan who scored eight of Maryland’s first ten points. However, the Seminoles matched Rutan three for three and maintained their 7 point margin. A Malina Howard jumper and a Hawkins lay up pulled the Terps within three at 47-44. But FSU responded with a nine to nothing run during which both Rutan and DeVaughn picked up their fourth fouls and the Seminole lead expanded to a dozen. Alyssa Thomas ended the run making two free throws after missing her first four attempts from the stripe. Florida State continued to extend the lead to as much as seventeen but Rutan knocked down her sixth three of the game and a lay up by Thomas pulled the Terps within eight. On the ensuing possession FSU put up a surprisingly quick shot but the Terps allowed an offensive rebound at the most inopportune time and Florida State converted one of two free throws. Pavlech made her first three of the game and FSU bounced the inbounds pass off the backboard. Thomas put back an offensive rebound and the Terps pulled within four with just over a minute to play. A quick foul and two missed free throws gave Terrapin fans some hope but FSU rebounded the miss and made their free throws. A quick basket by Hawkins on a Thomas miss cut the lead to four. FSU turned the ball over and Thomas made a traditional three point play to bring the Terps to 69-68 with 28 seconds left. Another quick foul on the inbounds and two made free throws made the score 71-68. Thomas was fouled driving to the basket, missed the front end of the one and one, but Hawkins rebounded missed her first attempt, rebounded again and got the ball out to Pfirman who found Pavlech who drained a three to tie the score. Unfortunately for Terrapin fans, Hawkins lost track of the score and gave a quick foul with 7.7 remaining. Fortunately for Terp fans the FSU guard missed both free throws. Unfortunately for Maryland fans, Malina Howard stepped in the lane and FSU made the third attempt. Florida State called their last time out to set their defense and did a good job forcing the ball to Pavlech who passed to Thomas who was quickly double teamed and used several seconds getting to mid-court where she was forced to give up the ball to Howard whose desperation shot from the free throw line fell just short - as did the Terps dropping a gut wrenching loss by a final of 72-71.

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