Could it have ended any other way?
Boris Bojanovsky dunked at the buzzer, and Maryland lost 67-65 to Florida State after clawing back from a second half deficit.
The Terps started the game with a big lineup that included Seth Allen, Dez Wells, Nick Faust, Charles Mitchell and Shaq Cleare with Evan Smotrycz being unavailable due to a back injury. The game began a little sloppy for both sides as each team turned the ball over on their first possession, but Ian Miller would get the Seminoles on the board with a transition three to open up the scoring.
Dez Wells hit a three for Maryland to get them within one early on but Florida St would answer with a floater to get the lead to three. Maryland struggled early with the transition play of the Seminoles, leading to fouls and free throws.
The Seminoles sent a lot of pressure at the Terps on defense, and they got the results they were looking for with turnovers, bad shots and transition opportunities. Maryland would switch to the press and that would help -- they were able to pull back within three after a monstrous Layman dunk.
Florida St struggled with turnovers early, having six within the first ten minutes. The Terps would not take advantage of this, however, with countless missed shots when open. Seth Allen was feeling it from downtown, sinking three of his first four from beyond the arc to help keep the Terps in it early. Wells went out with two fouls with eight minutes remaining in the first half after a blocking foul.
As ugly as the offense seemed at times, Maryland stayed in the game with big shots at crucial moments, and Jake Layman followed true on that, with a little bit of luck when his three rattled home to make it a 20-19 game. Nick Faust would hit two free throws and Allen would fly coast-to-coast for seven unanswered and a 23-20 lead.
Seth Allen continued to show his poise, hitting a shot after a three-point play by Ian Miller, and then Layman hit another big three to make it a 28-23 Maryland lead. After being down 20-16, Maryland rattled off a 14-5 run to take a five point lead with under three minutes remaining, a stark contrast to the beginning of the game.
Surprisingly, Mark Turgeon sent John Auslander into the game late in the half, likely to give his team a breather in preparations for a tournament run. It shouldn't be expected often, but it is an interesting strategy early in the tournament.
Nick Faust struggled in the first half, but he made perhaps the biggest shot of the half, nailing a three, and going to the line for the four-point play. Faust made the free throw, and the lead quickly became six for the Terps. The Seminoles would answer quickly with two straight buckets to trim the deficit to two, with Maryland getting the potential final shot of the half with 29 seconds left. Layman would miss the final shot, and the Terps would go into the half leading 34-32. Seth Allen led the way with 13 points.
The second half would start well with a three by Allen, but Florida St would fight back with free throws and a transition basket, cutting the deficit to one. Dez Wells got the ball in transition and put his shot up, but the ball was swatted down in what appeared to be a goal-tend, creating a four point swing as the Seminoles went down and scored the bucket to take the lead.
After getting down 42-39, Maryland responded with two free throws by Layman and Wells, and then created a turnover with their press which was capped off by a huge Dez Wells dunk to retake the lead. The Seminoles would respond with two straight baskets to retake a three point lead, 46-43.Another three for the Seminoles would make it a six point advantage, forcing Turgeon into a timeout to attempt to halt the 7-0 run.
With the game winding down, the Terps couldn't find the bottom of the net, and the Seminoles took advantage to extend their lead to eight late in the game. With 10:34 left in the game, Charles Mitchell went down wit an injury to what appeared to be his hand, leading to another basket for the Seminoles to make it a ten point game.
The Seminoles would get their lead up to 11, but the Terps would rattle off two straight baskets to cut the lead to seven in a hurry, breathing a little life into the Maryland team. The press began to work in the favor of the Terps, as they created a turnover after a bucket, and cut the lead to four with 7:50 remaining.
Layman took the ball to the rim and a goal-tending was called and the lead was cut to two points. The Seminoles would hold a four point lead for a while until a floater in the lane to get the lead back to six, 61-55. After two free throws for Allen and a lay-up by Ian Miller, the score was 63-57, forcing Turgeon into a timeout with 3:40 remaining.
From there, the Terps broke out six straight points to tie the game up at 63 wit under two minutes remaining. The Seminoles would hit two free throws with 36 seconds remaining to take a 65-63 lead, giving Maryland one chance to tie the game and send it to overtime. Dez Wells would draw the foul and go to the line and make both free throws to tie the game at 65 with 15 seconds left. The Seminoles would make the bucket and win the game, extending their tournament stay.
For Maryland, their season is over after a heart-breaking loss, again.