- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 27, 2002

This time it ended with a standing ovation in celebration of a job well done.
Third-ranked Maryland had no problem coming up with extra motivation for yesterday's game with Florida State at Cole Field House. The Seminoles had humiliated the Terrapins with an upset victory last season in College Park, a game that ended with Seminoles point guard Delvon Arrington dancing on the scorer's table as part of a wild celebration. While Florida State partied, Maryland fans booed their own team for its shoddy performance.
"Coach [Gary Williams] always talked about how Arrington jumped on our scorers' table, waving a fist to our crowd," Maryland's Byron Mouton said. "We just wanted to beat them bad [yesterday]. We just wanted to embarrass them."
Mission accomplished.
Juan Dixon led a blistering attack that wore down the Seminoles in a 84-63 thumping to the delight of 14,500 spectators. The senior had 25 points and matched career highs with 11 rebounds and eight steals as the Terps turned a close game in the first half into a laugher, with pressure defense leading to easy layups.
Dixon now has 307 career steals, becoming just the 27th player in NCAA history to top 300.
Maryland (16-3, 6-1 ACC) took over sole possession of first place in the conference by winning for the ninth time in 10 games. The Terps hold a half-game lead over top-ranked Duke, which plays host to No. 7 Virginia tonight. Florida State (10-8, 3-4), the only team that has beaten the Blue Devils, wore down in the second half under the Terps' pressure.
Mouton added 18 points for the Terps, while Maryland's big men wore out the smaller Seminoles. Power forward Chris Wilcox finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Center Lonny Baxter scored 14 points but struggled from close range, making just five of 12 shots.
"We tried the first half, but we couldn't [lift the energy]," said Williams, who felt his team came out tired as it played its fourth game in nine days. "The second half, we just got it going a little bit, maybe 10 percent more intensity-wise. It wasn't in the offense or defense; it was just that the intensity level increased. You saw the steals."
Maryland recorded 16 of them, 11 in the second half. It made up for a sluggish first half in which the Terps made three of their first 18 shots. They had just six points in the game's first nine minutes before Dixon got on target.
The Terps erupted after the Seminoles scored the final four points of the half and then cut Maryland's lead to 39-35 right after the break on a layup by Monte Cummings. Maryland went on a 12-2 run and built the lead to 51-37 after Baxter's slam off a deft interior pass by Tahj Holden.
That served only as an appetizer. The Terps' traps smothered the Seminoles in a 14-point run to put the game away. Dixon started the stretch with a field goal off a curl and a feed from Steve Blake (nine assists) to make it 60-47.
Blake, who did not score after finishing with 19 points against Wake Forest on Wednesday, did a nice job defending Arrington. The Seminoles' guard was held to 11 points on 4-for-12 shooting with four turnovers.
Florida State committed six turnovers in the decisive run as the Terps intercepted inbounds passes and scored easy layups. Dixon's steal and pull-up jumper made it 64-47. Mouton's steal of a midcourt inbounds pass led to a breakaway slam and a 21-point bulge.
"When I come out of nowhere and get a steal, things have to be wrong because that never happens," Mouton said. He also did an excellent job defensively on Antwaun Dixon, holding the Seminoles' sharpshooter to five points on 1-for-7 shooting with his physical brand of defense.
It was that kind of day for the Terps, who made sure Florida State would not repeat its celebration from last February. Many of the same Maryland fans who booed the Terps that night stayed around at the end of yesterday's blowout to show their appreciation with cheers as Williams spoke over the P.A. system.
"It was something that happened, and I didn't like it," said Williams, who had some sharp words for the crowd after last season's debacle. "That was nice what they did today."
Dixon clearly relished the payback.
"It's something we had on the board early revenge," he said. "I didn't forget that at all. I remember sitting in the locker room forever because we didn't play well that night and those guys were jumping on our tables. We didn't appreciate that at all, and we went out and showed them."

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