COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Seth Allen had a game unlike any other in his college career.
For Maryland, perhaps the best part about his incredible shooting performance was that the sophomore guard still has room for improvement.
Allen scored 21 of his career-high 32 points in the decisive first half, and the Terrapins beat Florida State 83-71 Saturday to climb over .500 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Playing in his 12th game since returning from a fractured left foot, Allen went 11 for 15 from the floor and 7 for 10 beyond the arc in topping his previous high of 21 points. He also had four rebounds and two assists.
“Seth Allen was at another level tonight,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. “He’s getting closer.”
Allen’s recovery from the injury has taken some time, but it’s hard to imagine the 6-foot-1 backcourt star playing much better than he did against the Seminoles.
“I was just making shots today,” he said. “My teammates were getting me open in transition and I was just hitting 3s. It felt real good, and the win felt even better.”
Dez Wells scored 15 and Jake Layman added 12 for Maryland (14-10, 6-5), which avenged a 24-point defeat at Florida State last month. The victory enabled the Terrapins to gain sole possession of seventh place in the ACC, one game ahead of the skidding Seminoles (14-9, 5-6).
“They beat the (heck) out of us last time,” Allen noted. “We came in with a chip on our shoulder. We really wanted to prove to them that we’re the better team.”
Maryland led by 17 at halftime and coasted to the finish. Allen’s first basket of the second half — a 3-pointer from the right side with 13:50 left — made it 58-39.
After the Seminoles closed to 64-50, Allen popped a jumper from beyond the arc for a 17-point cushion with 7:46 remaining. Finally, after FSU got within 73-65, Allen nailed a 3 with 1:55 to go.
“There were a couple times in the second half when he just made some incredible shots,” Turgeon said. “When we weren’t really doing that well, just hanging in there, he would just raise up.”
Aaron Thomas led Florida State with 17 points and Devon Bookert had 14. Although the Seminoles came in as the top-ranked team in the ACC in field goal percentage defense, Maryland shot 52 percent, including 62.5 in the first half.
“I think it was as much their offensive execution as it was our defense,” FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. “Obviously, when you have a kid who’s red-hot like Seth was, that compounds it.”
When the teams met on Jan. 12, the Seminoles went 16 for 24 from beyond the arc in an 85-61 rout. This time, Florida State made only five 3-pointers on 12 tries.
“Our team is growing,” Hamilton said. “I was proud of the way they hung in there and fought back in the second half.”
The Seminoles, who played without injured guard Ian Miller, have lost four of five. Florida State had defeated Maryland four straight times, a streak that began in January 2012.
“We were very sloppy,” forward Okaro White said. “You can’t come back when you are down so much.”
It was the first time the Seminoles lost to team coached by Turgeon, who came in 0-6 against FSU (0-4 while at Maryland, 0-1 at Texas A&M and 0-1 at Wichita State).
Allen went 7 for 9 from the floor, connected on four of six shots beyond the arc and was 3 for 3 at the foul line in helping the Terrapins take a 46-29 halftime lead.
Thomas buried a 3 on the Seminoles’ opening possession, but Florida State missed six of its next seven 3-point tries before the break.
Allen’s first basket of the game, a 3-pointer, gave Maryland a 6-5 lead that it would not relinquish. It was 20-17 before baskets by Charles Mitchell and Layman sparked a 15-6 spurt that put the Terrapins up 35-23.
Allen contributed nine points to the run. He sank three free throws with 5:49 left in the half to match his season high with 18 points.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)