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Maryland's ACC season has just started, so why did the Florida State win seem big?

Players were sure treating it that way. "It's huge," said Eric Hayes. Greivis Vasquez said the same thing -- "huge."

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Perhaps it's because this team didn't yet have a big, high-stakes win this season. The Seminoles are an imposing team and they entered the game ranked No. 18 in the country.

Maybe the Terps needed to be reminded how good they can be. Maryland is usually potent defensively and often good attacking the basket. The team is even better when it shoots so well from the outside (10-of-16 on threes). That doesn't always happen with this group. When it does, the Terps are hard to beat.

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"I thought that Maryland played a lot more mature than we did tonight," said Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton. "They moved the ball and made the extra pass."

Random observations:

*Florida State's defense had been focusing on Vasquez in the first half. He got more looks once others --Hayes and Landon Milbourne – began to command more attention. Remember that Vasquez had what Gary Williams called "a very tough game" against the Seminoles last season? So the senior had to prove to himself he could excel against this team.

*Spotted in the crowd: former Maryland coach Lefty Driesell, former Terps star Juan Dixon and Darrius Heyward-Bey, the former Maryland football receiver now with the Oakland Raiders.

*Gary Williams said Vasquez, like Juan Dixon before him, craves the ball in the last two minutes of a tight game. The smiling coach also said of Dixon: "Nobody took more bad shots."

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