TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Maryland's two-game swing through the Atlantic Coast Conference's Southern outpost was played out over four days and nearly 500 miles. The games followed much different scripts but ended with the same disappointing outcome for the Terrapins.
After blowing a 17-point second-half lead to lose a two-point heartbreaker at Miami on Wednesday night, the Terps overcame an 11-point second-half deficit here to force overtime yesterday against Florida State, only to lose, 76-73, at the Tucker Center.
Maryland coach Gary Williams tried to look at what his team showed him in its quick recovery after losing to the Hurricanes rather than the missed opportunities that resulted in its second straight defeat.
"I think this is good for this team in terms of the understanding that we are that close to being able to beat pretty good teams on the road," Williams said.
"We just have to start making some shots. We didn't do a great job of that at any time during the game. That's something that has to be done. We have to make open shots this year."
On a day when junior guards Greivis Vasquez and Eric Hayes combined to miss 19 of 24 shots and the Terps shot 38.6 percent (27-for-70) as a team, including 27.3 percent (6-for-22) from three-point range, Maryland still had a chance to win.
Junior forward Landon Milbourne and freshman guard Sean Mosley provided Maryland (12-5, 1-2 ACC) with that chance.
Despite giving up several inches and pounds to just about everyone he was matched up against on the ACC's biggest team, Milbourne, 6 feet 7, 207 pounds, finished with 17 points and nine rebounds, including six offensive boards.
"He was incredible on the offensive glass," Williams said. "He tried to win the game for us in the best way I can put it because we weren't shooting well and he knew he had to get the ball back, and he did."
Milbourne forced overtime when he wedged his slender body between a couple of Florida State defenders to retrieve a miss by Hayes, then powered up for a layup with 22 seconds to tie the score at 66.
After Seminoles guard Toney Douglas missed a long three-point attempt right before the buzzer in regulation, Milbourne gave Maryland its second-to-last lead in overtime at 70-68 on a three-point play. But Douglas, who finished with 25 points, scored six of his team's next seven points and eight of the team's 10 overtime points to put the game away for Florida State (15-3, 2-1).
"I felt like I really didn't do my part in the Miami game; I felt like I could have played a whole lot harder than I did," Milbourne said. "I didn't want to leave Florida with two losses. I knew we needed to get rebounds and knew that we [needed] some people to battle inside even though they were big. If we just fight, we could give ourselves a chance."
Mosley didn't look at yesterday's game as redemption after going scoreless in 19 minutes against Miami, but instead as just another opportunity. It came when sophomore guard Adrian Bowie (14 points) got into foul trouble and eventually fouled out, as he did against the Hurricanes.
This time, Mosley came through, finishing with a career-high 13 points and five rebounds in 25 minutes. The former St. Frances star was the catalyst as the Terps erased a 52-41 deficit with 12:07 remaining in the second half.
"Our guys had played a lot of minutes. I had to get some turnovers and put the ball in the basket, and that's what I did," said Mosley, who scored three straight transition baskets in a little more than 90 seconds to spark Maryland's comeback.
In the end, as happened down at Miami, it wasn't enough.
"It was hard to lose like that again," said Vasquez, who was held to six points, his second-lowest total of the season. "I thought my teammates did a pretty good job today. Sean, Landon really stepped up. Eric and I struggled a lot today; I thought that was the difference."
For the Terps, there was no difference from what happened against the Hurricanes. Two tough losses, four days apart.
play it again
Did you notice ...
* Adrian Bowie has become one of Maryland's most important players. The sophomore guard scored a career-high 23 at Miami on Wednesday and had 14 yesterday but fouled out of both games. Bowie acknowledged afterward that he needs to play a little more under control.
* Uncharacteristically for Maryland, Gary Williams went to a zone defense in the second half after Bowie got into foul trouble. It was done to protect Bowie and was effective in slowing the penetration from Florida State's guards.
* Greivis Vasquez missed his first free throw in more than a month. Vasquez, who came into the game having made 35 in a row, missed his first attempt early in the second half. He later missed again, finishing 2-for-4 from the line. The Terps, who came in leading the Atlantic Coast Conference at nearly 79 percent, were 13-for-19 and missed four in overtime.
Maryland will play Tuesday night against Virginia (7-7, 1-2) at Comcast Center at 8 p.m. Interesting scheduling, considering what the Washington Beltway is going to look like Inauguration Day.
@MARYLAND (12-5, 1-2)
Tuesday, 8 p.m.
TV: Ch. 54
Radio: 1300 AM, 105.7 FM