AP Photo appeared on ESPN.com
During the late-1990’s throughout the middle parts of the 2000’s, road wins were few and far between for Florida State basketball.
On this day 20 years ago however, FSU scored one of those rare road victories and did so against a pretty good team. The Seminoles went into College Park and knocked off No. 17 Maryland, 74-71.
Setting the Stage
Florida State was just 6-17 and 1-9 in ACC play as it arrived in College Park on Feb. 14, 2001. FSU had lost nine straight ACC road games and 10 straight to the Terrapins.
Maryland was looking for an easy win after back-to-back road losses to Georgia Tech and North Carolina. Ranked No. 17, the Terrapins were expected to rout an FSU team that was last in the conference standings. On Valentine’s Day at Cole Field House, the Seminoles would break their heart.
Neither team shot the ball particularly well in the first half, but Maryland was especially cold as FSU led 19-8 and 25-14 later in the half. After leading 33-24 at the break, Antwuan Dixon’s 3-point play early in the second half gave FSU its biggest lead of the game, 36-24.
The Terrapins would draw close on multiple occasions in the second half, but the Seminoles always had an answer. After Maryland drew to within three, another 3-point play for FSU — this one from Adrian Crawford — ignited an 11-4 run. Midway through the second half, FSU held a 53-43 lead.
Maryland closed to within one at 66-65 and then 72-71, but Dixon calmly knocked down a pair of free throws with 16 seconds remaining. On its final possession, Maryland had a pair of looks from deep that would have tied the game, but to avail.
Delvon Arrington paced the Seminoles with a game-high 17 points on 6-for-8 shooting to go with eight assists and three steals. Dixon added 14 points on an efficient 4-for-7 shooting while Crawford and center Mike Mathews each scored 11. Mathews also had an efficient night, going 4-for-6 for an FSU team that shot 57% in the second half.
Juan Dixon led Maryland with 14 points, but on just 3-for-11 shooting. Freshman Chris Wilcox was 6-for-7, finishing with 13 points in the loss. Byron Mouton was 5-for-7 with 11 points for the Terrapins.
For Maryland, the loss would serve as something of a wake-up call. The Terrapins went on to win their final five regular season games. After falling in the ACC Tournament semifinals, Maryland reeled off four straight wins to reach the Final Four for the first time in program history.
The stunning upset for FSU didn’t spur any sort of turnaround as the Seminoles finished just 9-21 during their fourth season under head coach Steve Robinson. The victory in College Park however, served as FSU’s first road win over a ranked team in more than a year.
It would be nearly six years later before FSU beat another ranked team on the road. From February 1993 to January 2013, FSU managed just one win in College Park. It came on this day two decades ago.