TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Maryland almost pulled it out with a furious late rally.
The ninth-ranked Terrapins wiped out a 17-point deficit in the final 4:31 Thursday night before a lane violation gave Florida State’s Alexa Deluzio a second chance to sink a game-winning free throw with 7 seconds left.
Deluzio made the free throw to give the No. 24 Seminoles a 72-71 victory.
“Tremendous run there in the final four minutes of the game,” Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. “But this game was decided earlier with how we played.”
Maryland (22-6, 13-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) had a 43-29 rebounding advantage and took 20 more shots in the game, but shot poorly at the free throw line (7 of 16) and committed 21 turnovers and still nearly won.
“Too many unforced turnovers,” Frese said. “It was really a game where we couldn’t get out of our own way.”
Florida State led 64-47 before the Terrapins stormed back with a 24-7 run to tie it at 71 on Chloe Pavelich’s 3-pointer with 10 seconds left.
FSU coach Sue Semrau called it “quite a run.”
“I guess we decided we had nothing to lose,” Frese said. “We got a lot more aggressive defensively.”
Frese refused to blame the loss on the lane violation during Deluzio’s free throw.
“It doesn’t come down to that play,” Frese said. “It doesn’t come down to the last play of the game. There were a lot of plays to make in this game and we didn’t make them.”
Katie Rutan made 6 of 10 from 3-point range and finished with a season-high 24 points for Maryland.
“They gave me more open shots than I thought I would get,” Rutan said. “I just took them.”
Alyssa Thomas added 17 points and a game-high 14 rebounds, while Tianna Hawkins added 16 for the Terps, who are battling with North Carolina for the No. 3 seed in the ACC tournament.
Florida State (21-7, 11-6) was led by Chelsea Davis’ 19 points. Leonor Rodriguez added 16 points and Deluzio 14.
The Terrapins hope to end a mild two-game losing streak when they return home for their regular-season finale Sunday against Wake Forest.
The Terps defeated Florida State 75-61 when the two met on Jan. 6 at College Park.
Florida State nailed down the No. 4 seed and a first-round bye in the ACC tournament that begins March 7 at Greensboro, N.C. The Seminoles close out their season Sunday at Virginia.
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