It was more of the same for Maryland in Tallahassee -- a complete lack of an offensive gameplan, poor perimeter defense and seemingly endless turnovers resulting in another blowout loss in a key game. The Terps fell to Florida State 85-61, stamping another disappointing note on a season that feels more lost by the day.
The two teams traded empty possessions for about three minutes to start the game, before Devon Bookert hit a three to put the Seminoles on the board. Five minutes into the game, Ian Miller hit a three pointer of his own, giving Florida State a 10-2 lead. Maryland turned the ball over five times in the first six minutes.
The Terps went on a small run after that, started by Seth Allen's alley oop to Nick Faust. Dez Wells hit a jumper, and then Charles Mitchell blocked a Seminole shot (which turned into an Evan Smotrycz layup), cutting the lead to 10-8. Trailing 17-8, Maryland went another 7-0 run, ending with Roddy Peters swiping the ball from Okaro White and lobbing it down court to Faust, who slammed it home again.
Florida State hit nine of their first 11 three point attempts after entering the game shooting 31% on the year from three, a combination of ridiculous luck and poor perimeter defense from the Terrapins. During a single stretch, they scored 20 points in seven possessions, blowing the game open to a 37-19 lead.
As much as the three pointers hurt Maryland in the first half, the Terps' own turnover problems may have been worse. The Terps turned the ball over 11 times in the period, compared to 10 made Florida State three pointers. On the night, they turned the ball over on around one quarter of their possessions, and making just three of 17 three pointers didn't help things, either.
The Terps trailed 42-22 at halftime, and nothing much changed after the break. Florida State hit threes (they finished with 16, a program record vs. an ACC opponent), Maryland didn't score and the Seminoles were never once threatened at home.
Something has to change, and soon. Obviously, something is not clicking with this team, who has all the parts necessary to be a squad who contends for a tournament spot. For a team that's supposedly defensively based (and we can safely say their strength is not on offense), Maryland has a whole lot of problems on that end of the floor. Being without a reliable big man is one thing, but no reliable big men and a perimeter defense that seems hellbent on leaving as many shooters wide open as possible? That's something that's hard to recover from.
For a lot of fans, this may be what the Syracuse game was for the football program -- the last straw after years of excuses and hopes for the future. Now, the football team ended up with seven wins and a bowl game, but it's hard to see Mark Turgeon's squad reaching their postseason goals.
Maryland now stands at 10-7, with a 2-2 record in ACC play. They play next at home Wednesday, against Notre Dame. We'll see which Terrapin team shows up for that one.
In the mean time, let's just watch this, back when basketball was fun, until the pain numbs a little bit.