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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 30, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Donald L. Tucker Center (12,100) -- Tallahassee, Florida. Television: ACC Network, ESPN3.com. Home Record: Maryland 13-1. FSU 5-5. Away Record: Maryland 1-3, FSU 3-3. Neutral Record: Maryland 1-1, FSU 3-0. Conference Record: Maryland 3-4, FSU 3-3. Series Record: Maryland leads, 29-12.
GAMES NOTES: The Florida State Seminoles will hope a return to the Donald L. Tucker Center can right the ship as they square off with the Maryland Terrapins in Atlantic Coast Conference action Wednesday night.
The Terps have been stumbling after they opened the season 12-1. An 84-64 loss to Duke on Saturday was the fourth in the last six games for Maryland. Maryland still owns a solid 15-5 record on the season, but with the losses beginning to pile up, especially on the road where the Terps are just 1-3, Maryland is in danger of letting its hot start go to waste. Maryland, which is 3-4 in ACC play, will play three of its next four games at home.
In a battle with intrastate rival Miami-Florida on Sunday the Seminoles were outclassed in a 71-47 decision. It was the third loss in the last four games for Florida State which has not lived up to the expectations it had in the preseason when it was ranked No. 25 in the country. The Seminoles are just 11-8 overall on the campaign, while splitting all their games at home (5-5) and in league play (3-3). The second half of this homestand won't be any easier as the Seminoles host Duke.
This is a rematch of tilt in College Park earlier this month. Florida State earned a 65-62 win then and last season swept the series with Maryland. That ended a three-game winning streak for the Terps who still hold a commanding 29-12 lead in the all-time series.
In its loss to the Blue Devils, Maryland struggled to contain Duke on the offensive end. The Terps were outscored 33-15 from beyond the arc, while allowing Duke to shoot 52.4 percent from the field. The Terps also forced just four turnovers and were outscored 18-5 in points off takeaways.
Alex Len (13.2 ppg, 8.3 rpg) scored just eight points in the loss, ending a streak of six games in double figures for the Terps' leading scorer. The 7- foot-1 center has largely been the anchor for Maryland this season and still managed 10 rebounds against Duke to retain his spot among the top 10 rebounders in the conference. Maryland is a team that relies heavily on the frontcourt as forward Dez Wells (11.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg) is the only other player scoring in double figures. Nick Faust (8.7 ppg) is the top scoring action on the perimeter though he has shot just 36.2 percent from the floor. On the year Maryland has a scoring margin of nearly 11 points while shooting the second best percentage from the field (.465). Led by Len the Terps are also the best rebounding team in the country (43 pg).
Against the conference leading Hurricanes, Florida State was held to just 30.8 percent shooting, including a 3-of-17 effort from beyond the arc. The Seminoles also had twice as many turnovers (12) as assists (6) while being outrebounded 44-32 and outscored 34-18 in the paint.
The Seminoles' regression has been mirrored by the struggles of Michael Snaer. The 6-foot-5 guard who hit so many big shots last year, is still the team's leading scorer (13.9 ppg), but his shooting percentages both from the field and beyond the arc have each dropped by more than a full percentage point. Okaro White (12.6 ppg, 5.7 rpg) is the only other player scoring more than 8.5 points per game and the squads best interior defender, blocking 1.4 shots per game. Terrance Shannon (8.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg) has provided a nice spark off the bench with his ability to score and rebound. In all the Seminoles have been a rather average team offensively scoring 69 points per game which ranks sixth in the ACC. Rebounding has proved to be a weakness for the Seminoles.
Last time these teams met the Seminoles' weakness on the interior didn't prove to be too much of an issue. While the Seminoles have been prone to poor shooting this season, on their home floor, Snaer and company should be able to get enough going to knock off the Terps.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Florida State 70, Maryland 67
01/30 10:39:03 ET
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