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Leonard Hamilton's first win at Maryland hardly came easily.

Okaro White scored 15 consecutive points against Maryland.

Not only did his Seminoles have to overcome a 12-point, second-half deficit. After surging back for the lead, FSU then had to weather a fierce Maryland rally and could only exhale when Michael Snaer's block of a would-be game-winning 3-pointer preserved the win.

Okaro White hit a free throw with a second remaining to give the Seminoles a 65-62 win and their first 2-0 start in Atlantic Coast Conference play since 1999-2000.

"This is a very big challenge for our youngsters,” FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. “I thought there were times in the first half where they were a little bigger, stronger and more aggressive, physical than we were.

“I thought our guys really bowed their necks in the second half and came back and competed a lot more."

White played a big role in that second-half comeback. The junior forward matched his career high with 20 points – including 15 consecutive points in the second half – and added nine rebounds, six blocks and finished 6-7 at the free throw line.

White's 15 consecutive points were part of 17-9 run that saw the Seminoles (10-5, 2-0 ACC) turn a 43-42 deficit into a 59-51 lead.

"What can you say about Okaro?” Hamilton said. “Six blocks, nine rebounds and 20 points. He really came to play.”

White, however, wasn't the only one in the spotlight Wednesday night. After trailing by nine at halftime and again with 18 minutes to go, senior guard Michael Snaer scored five points as part of a 12-2 run that brought the Seminoles to within a point.

Florida State is 2-0 in the ACC for the first time since 1999-2000.

He also hit three of four free throws in the final 29 seconds and blocked Seth Allen's 3-point attempt to preserve FSU's two-point lead with a second to go.

"There were a lot of heroes. There were a lot of things that don't necessarily show up in the statistic columns,” Hamilton said. “Everybody that went into the game gave us something.”

In addition to denying Maryland (13-2, 1-1 ACC) a school-record 14th straight win, the Seminoles have now won six of seven after a three-game losing streak. They emerged from their five-game road trip with four wins and will return home Saturday to face North Carolina at 2 p.m.

The Tar Heels (10-4, 0-1 ACC) dropped their ACC opener on Sunday and will host Miami Thursday night.

"Our team is finding more and more that we need each other,” Hamilton said. “We need the full sum of all of our parts working."

Box Score: Florida State 65, Maryland 62

  • Chris Nee

    Box score below.

    Chris Nee of You can follow me on twitter @CNee247.

  • Chris Nee

    Game story from our Maryland site.

    Terps Suffer First Loss in 62 Days

    Maryland had a chance to comeback late, but poor shooting, mental miscues and turnovers eventually doomed the Terps in a 65-62 loss to Florida State.

    Chris Nee of You can follow me on twitter @CNee247.

  • What changed? Where did that dominance in the post come from? Is Maryland severely undersized?

  • MD actually has a top-10 NBA Draft pick in Alex Len, who's 7'1", & they have good size up front. However, they struggled w/ our bigs fronting him & our guys doubling down any time he got the ball. Really, the only reason FSU won was Okaro White. He totally took over the game in the 2nd half. It was like Al Thornton, w/ more defense!!

  • White had a great game, no question. But without that interior defense, his points wouldn't have mattered. Whatever they changed in the interior, it worked. They were also getting the ball out and running on defensive rebounds and blocks more than I remember.

    This post was edited by fsukum 15 months ago

  • Chris Nee

    FSU got hammered in the post in the opening half. Maryland had a +15 rebounding advantage going into the locker room and was doing what they wanted around the rim. In the second half, FSU followed shots and crashed down for boards and defensively they got their bodies in-between players and the hoops and their limbs into the sky. Biggest change was simply effort in that area.

    Chris Nee of You can follow me on twitter @CNee247.

  • Chris Nee

    With the Maryland men’s basketball team trailing Florida State by just two points, Seth Allen streaked down the court with precious seconds ticking off the clock.

    Allen finished with 13 points and five turnovers against Florida State. (Photo by Bill Bride)

    8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2.

    Allen ran off a screen set by Alex Len at the top of the key but found himself trapped by defenders. With not much time to make a decision, Allen chucked up a desperation 3-point attempt that was swatted away by Florida State’s Michael Snaer.

    The block effectively ended any chance Maryland had at beating the Seminoles, who handed the Terps their first loss in 62 days.

    So what exactly happened on the game’s final play?

    “I just wanted to score"

    With two seconds left on the clock, Seth Allen had a potential game-winning shot blocked by FSU. What happened on the play and what was going through the freshmans mind?

    Chris Nee of You can follow me on twitter @CNee247.

  • Chris Nee

    Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon

    Opening Statement:
    "I give Florida State a lot of credit. They weren't making a lot of jump shots and they just kept trying and trying and they defended. At the end tonight they just had the best player on the floor, Okaro White. We had no answer for him. When the game was on the line and we had to show toughness, we didn't have it. I think it was 51-all and they got offensive rebound after offensive rebound, mostly him [White]. That was the difference. They missed two long threes and they chased them down. They stepped up and made free throws, they weren't making them but they stepped up and made them at the end. I am disappointed. We didn't play well but give them a lot of credit why we didn't play well. We were never in sync. We panicked offensively. We panicked as players and as a coaching staff a little bit. We couldn't figure it out. We kept subbing guys in and different things. We will watch the film and try to learn from it."

    On the missed opportunities:
    "I think when we were up 10 or 11 in the first half it should have been 15 or 16. We were missing wide open shots and throwing the ball out of bounds. We had six turnovers at the first timeout. They weren't making shots. I felt like there were a lot of opportunities for us in the first half. I knew at the first possession of the second half that it was going to be a grinder. I ran a play and we didn't get anything, just threw it out of bounds. We had a lot of guys not make good decisions tonight. Give them credit, this is the first time we have seen that kind of defense for 40 minutes. We didn't handle it very well."

    On the last play:
    "He [Seth Allen] is a freshmen and I haven't coached him that much. We haven't had a game go down to the wire yet, except for the Kentucky game. We didn't execute that either. Pe'Shon [Howard] shot a shot when Jake [Layman] was standing wide open next to him. Seth had probably made up his mind that he was going to shoot it. I wish Alex [Len] would have set that screen more by half court rather than the key where he set it. That would have opened up the floor a little bit more. I was pretty loud in there it was hard to communicate. We were saying that we could take a two...They zoned up on it pretty good and he couldn't get by it so he had to take the shot. They are long and athletic."

    On Florida State's defense:
    "We haven't seen it. They are athletic, they are good defensively. They protected the rim very well. Their post defense was very good and we couldn't drive by them. We didn't make good decisions. We had a lot of guys not play well and not get out of their funk. They are good defensively and they are getting better. Ian Miller, they didn't win early when he was hurt and he is back. Think about the two big three's that he hit before half time to make it a much better game than it might have been."

    Chris Nee of You can follow me on twitter @CNee247.

  • Chris Nee

    Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton

    Opening Statement:
    "The respect that we have for Maryland's program brought the best out of our kids in the first half. They kind of had their way with us in the beginning of the game. I thought they were more aggressive. We had good looks in the first half, but I thought we missed a lot of open looks. You've got to give them credit, they took our inside game away with their ability to push us off the block, and we challenged our kids at halftime to find a way to get on the boards. They've got a great combination of guys who can shoot threes, and guys who can take you off the dribble. It was very challenging mindset that our kids had to get into to be successful. I thought that in the second half we rose to the occasion; I thought we kept fighting. We had a lot of guys that came off the bench and gave us tremendous effort. When the game was on the line, we had some clutch plays. That gave us the opportunity to win a basketball game against a very good team that's playing very well.

    On Okaro White's second half:
    "In the heat of the battle, I didn't know he had 15 straight [points], but I knew he was playing his butt off. I guess that is to be commended."

    On the ACC start:
    "I didn't know until yesterday that this is the first time in the history of the program that we started 2-0. That's an accomplishment in itself that we didn't realize we were close to accomplishing. This early in the season, it's not about those. We are so young and so inexperienced; I think the story of the game is that our youngsters are learning a little more about the focus you've got to play with at this level. I looked up at times and we had three freshmen on the floor. We're a team that's growing and we're not close to reaching our potential, but I think that we learned a little bit more about how to utilize the defensive principles we've been learning all year. That's been an elusive mindset that we've not been able to get. I thought tonight our rotations were better in the second half... That shows that are learning more how to play in the ACC."

    Florida State junior forward Okaro White

    On tonight's game:
    "We've been preaching to our young guys on how hard ACC play is, and how much intensity you have to play with. We sat down with all the juniors and seniors and told the young guys, we have to stop talking, and we have to show them how hard you have to play. In the second half we were down in the hole, and I tried to get us out."

    On how frustrating it was when the team couldn't get the lead:
    "It was very frustrating. We were fighting so hard the whole game, and we kept going back and forth. I think I was on the bench at that point, but it was very frustrating. I just continue to believe if you play hard things will work out in the end."

    On not taking advantage of Maryland turnovers:
    "You just have to stick to the game plan and stick with what you normally do; you just bring intensity. I can't express the fact of how important intensity is."

    Florida State senior guard Michael Snaer

    On the team's comeback in the second half:
    "It was big for us. We had a lot of guys step up--Ian [Miller] stepped up big and played tonight. [Kiel] Turpin really stepped up in the second half. In the first half we had to make an adjustment. We were looking for that throwback too early, and [Maryland] kept holding the ball and our offense was really stagnant. When we really got into moving the ball and buying into that, our offense spread out and guys were knocking down shots. They got really tired at the end, you could tell it showed, and we were able to capitalize."

    On seeing Okaro White step up:
    "That's big time because you can tell he's grown as a player. He didn't have a great first half, and wasn't really looking to score. When he started playing off other people and moving the ball, we were able to get open shots and opportunities."

    On playing with four fouls early in the second half:
    "Well I have five in me, so if I have to give my team all five or four that's just what I have to do. I have to make plays for this team--whether that's offensively or defensively. We're a team that has guys who may go for 20 or 30, but we're not going to win that way every night. Tonight was just a collective, unselfish spirit, and I'm really trying to bring that over to my teammates."

    Chris Nee of You can follow me on twitter @CNee247.

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