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."
Already have an account? Sign In