Terps closer to Duke, but no cigar

February 26, 2009|By DAVID GINSBURG

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- This Duke-Maryland game was far closer than the previous matchup and much more indicative of one of college basketball's great rivalries.

The result, however, was identical.

Gerald Henderson scored 19 points, Jon Scheyer hit a key 3-pointer with 1:54 left, and No. 7 Duke spoiled the Terrapins' upset bid with a 78-67 victory Wednesday night.

Eager to avenge an 85-44 loss to the Blue Devils last month and build on Saturday's win over then-No. 3 North Carolina, the Terrapins forged a tie with 5:44 left.

But Duke (23-5, 9-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) pulled away, and by the time Scheyer's pivotal shot from beyond the arc made it 72-63, the volume of the sellout crowd had already dropped several decibels.


Landon Milbourne scored 19 points for Maryland (17-10, 6-7), which played much of the second half without leading scorer Greivis Vasquez, who was saddled with foul trouble.

Elliot Williams had 15 points and Scheyer had 12 for the Blue Devils, who ended a three-game road losing streak in the ACC.

Duke pulled out of a halftime tie to take a 41-37 lead, but that wasn't the worst development for Maryland. Vasquez got his third foul with 19:08 left and headed to the bench after being called for No. 4 with 17:42 to go.

The Terrapins didn't falter. Center Dave Neal flattened Nolan Smith with a screen at the Duke foul line and hit a 3-pointer at the other end, and Eric Hayes tied it at 45 with a shot from beyond the arc as the shot clock expired.

Hayes and Adrian Bowie ran the Maryland offense effectively in place of Vasquez, who returned with 7:33 remaining and the score tied at 58.

Maryland coach Gary Williams shuffled Vasquez in and out of the lineup over the next few minutes, removing him whenever possible while the Terps were on defense.

But Vasquez got his final foul on a drive to the basket with 3:24 left. He finished with 10 points in 22 minutes.

Vasquez was coming off one of the greatest games in Maryland history, a triple-double that included 35 points in the win over North Carolina.

Even if Maryland had lost that game, the fans would have been fired up for Duke. The crowd was collectively on its feet long before the opening tip, and many of the students remained standing throughout. Several carried signs, one of which read, "DUKE HATES PUPPIES."

In the first game, Maryland trailed 40-15 at halftime. So the Terrapins couldn't complain about finishing the first half of the rematch tied at 34, especially after outscoring Duke 28-8 in the paint.

Despite shooting 6-for-19 from the field in the opening 10 minutes, the Blue Devils kept it close. After Maryland went up 20-16, Greg Paulus hit a 3-pointer to start a surge that enabled Duke to pull even at 22.

Maryland went back in front, but a 3-pointer by Paulus retied it with 54 seconds left in the half.

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