After a strong start for the #17 Terps, they ended with a fizzle in Tallahassee against the #12 Florida State Seminoles, dropping a crucial ACC game 72-66. Alyssa Thomas might have clinched her ACC Rookie of the Year award, dropping a career high 26 points.
Maryland (21-6, 7-5 ACC) came out fast, rushing out to a 9-1 lead before Florida State (22-5, 10-2 ACC) settled and chipped away at the deficit. The Seminoles took their first lead of the game off a Courtney Ward three pointer to make it 24-22. Maryland never led again.
While Lynetta Kizer posted her eight double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds, despite battling flu like symptoms, the freshman Alyssa Thomas stole the show leading all scorers with 26 points on national television. She led a Maryland attack that was determined to run a fast paced style of offense, leading to a lot of bodies flying throughout the game.
The Terps went into the break down 36-28 and stepped up their defense in the second in hopes of clawing back the lead. They forced the FSU to shoot a pedestrian 30% from the field and kept them out of the paint limiting them to eight points. Maryland got within three with 12:35 left but couldn’t get over the hump.
But while winning the rebound battle (51-45) and points in the paint (44-22) kept them in it, Florida State would make crucial plays down the stretch and eventually kept themselves in the top three of the ACC standings.
After losing three of their last four, the Terps return home for their final home game of the year against the Virginia Tech Hokies Thursday Feb. 24 at 7 pm.
Player of the Game: No doubt here, Alyssa Thomas played an outstanding game in a losing effort. Setting a career high on ESPN2 shows that Thomas steps it up in big games. She added six rebounds and two steals and pretty much locked up the ACC ROY award.