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Maryland 93, Florida State 69

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Laron Profit(WRAL-TV5 News)
CHARLOTTE — Florida State's tired Seminoles were no match for Maryland's fifth-ranked and well-rested Terrapins.

``We felt like we could get on a good run against them,'' Laron Profit said after he helped Maryland overwhelm the Seminoles for a 93-69 victory in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament quarterfinals Friday.

The second-seeded Terrapins (26-4) had a first-round bye, while eighth-seeded Florida State had to play its way into the quarterfinals with an overtime victory against Clemson on Thursday night.

``We expended a lot of energy against Clemson,'' said Florida State coach Steve Robinson. ``The game probably took a little bit more out of us than I had hoped it would.''

The Terrapins harassed eighth-seeded Florida State (13-17) into 23 turnovers and converted them into 26 points, many of which came on uncontested fast-break dunks.

``They just kept coming and coming,'' Robinson said.

Florida State appeared to run out of steam after eight minutes, clearing the way for Maryland to take control on the way to earning its fifth consecutive berth in the conference semifinals.

Things got so lopsided in the second half that usually stoic Maryland coach Gary Williams actually was seen smiling ever so slightly, an expression he later called a moment of weakness.

``After 10 years I screwed up,'' he said. ``I was just very happy with the way things were going.''

Profit scored eight points in a 24-12 run that closed the first half, helping Maryland improve to 24-0 when leading at halftime.

Profit wound up with 21 points, 10 rebounds and four steals, including 12 points, nine rebounds and a steal in the opening 20 minutes.

``I wanted to come out and make sure I was aggressive as possible,'' said Profit, a senior forward. ``If you're going to be a leader, the best way to lead sometimes is by example. I think if the young guys see you being aggressive and going to the glass, then they'll follow suit.''

Steve Francis added 13 of his 20 points in the second half for the Terrapins. Maryland, winning its seventh game in a row, also got 18 from Lonny Baxter and 10 from Danny Miller.

The Terrapins, who shot a combined 60 percent while defeating the Seminoles twice in the regular season, saw that figure drop to 56 percent Friday.

Florida State senior guard Terrell Baker, who had 28 points to lead the Seminoles on Thursday night, missed his first eight shots against Maryland. He wound up with 12 points on 4-for-14 shooting before fouling out with 3:40 left.

Damous Anderson had 14 points and Delvon Arrington 11 for the Seminoles, who had snapped a seven-game losing skid with their first-round victory.

The score was 16-16 before Maryland closed the half with the decisive run.

Francis hit a jumper in the lane and assisted on another basket as Maryland opened the surge by scoring 12 consecutive points. Profit took over from there, scoring three times on slashing moves and adding a pair of foul shots as the Terrapins went up 42-30 at halftime.

Maryland scored the first seven points of the second half.

``We never seemed to be able to recover after that,'' Robinson said.

Florida State was unable to get closer than 17 points the rest of the way. The Terrapins spent much of the final 15 minutes sharpening their dunking skills and pushing their lead as high as 34.


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