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Terps Fall to Duke, 78-67

Maryland certainly put up much more of a fight against the Blue Devils this time around, but Duke pulled away late thanks to some timely three-point shooting and solid play from Gerald Henderson. The Terps were not distraught or downtrodden after this loss, as they have been following previous defeats. And Gary Williams was emphatic in his evaluation of the team in the opening remarks of his postgame press conference.

"We have a damn good basketball team, and we played really hard tonight," Williams said. "We played our hearts out, and we didn't get the win, but you know what? I know what we did out there and how hard we worked to get where we had a chance to win that game."

Three Up:

1) Landon Milbourne. After an enigmatic showing Saturday against North Carolina, Milbourne helped carry the Terps on offense against the Blue Devils. He shot 6 for 8 from teh field and tallied a team-high 19 points. With Greivis Vasquez in foul trouble, Maryland needed someone to take the reins on offense, and Milbourne filled that role.

2) Defensive improvement. The final stats don't necessarily tell the whole story. Yes, Duke shot 42.1 percent from three-point range, as well as a respectable 43.9 percent from the field, but for most of the game, the Blue Devils were making questionable decisions and taking rushed shots. What hurt Maryland was that it allowed Duke numerous second-chance opportunities that kept possessions alive.

3) Mental step forward. Losing to a team by 41 points can do quite a number on its collective psyche. And while the Terps insisted they had put last month's Durham Debacle behind them, the proof remained to be seen. But after gutting out a loss that was not decided until the final minutes and hanging tight despite being without its star offensive performer for a large chunk of the second half, Maryland demonstrated a much improved mental strength, something that should serve it well down the road.

Three Down:

1) Free-throw shooting. Maryland shot 64.0 percent from the charity stripe and missed a handful of shots from the line in the final minutes. Hayes, one of the team's best free throw shooters, mentioned poor free-throw shooting as one of the contributing factors to Maryland not being able to close out the contest.

2) Second chance opportunities. Though Duke struggled to convert them, the Blue Devils accrued numerous second chances throughout the game. And not all of them came on rebounds off missed shots. Adrian Bowie said the Terps inability to collect loose balls also put a strain on their defense.

"It was a definite back-breaker," Bowie said. "We played defense for 30 seconds and then they get the offensive rebound or a loose ball."

3) Foul trouble. For the second straight game, Maryland found itself in foul trouble down the stretch, which forced it into match-up problems. Against North Carolina, the Terps were able to overcome. Tonight, they could not do the same. Vasquez, Mosley and Milbourne all fouled out, and Cliff Tucker had four fouls of his own.

By Steve Yanda  |  February 26, 2009; 12:54 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Duke's Late Threes Doom Terps


A much better performance than the first Duke game, of course. The team's playing hard and I think overall they accomplished their goal of disrupting the 'orchestra' (Bob Knight's description) that is the Blue Devils' offensive scheme.

If I had to pick one significant flaw, it would be the free throw shooting. Shouldn't happen at home. I'm sure Gary Williams would be the first to agree.

Duke's the better team. Hard to see them winning a national title, but you can imagine them in the Final Four.

Still, I can see why Gary is proud of the effort.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 26, 2009 3:42 AM | Report abuse

Terps would have won had the refs let the game be played - the officiating was extremely tight & UMD did not have the bench, as Duke did, to make up for losing front line players. Maryland foul shooting was average and a factor - but not as much as the officiating.

Posted by: mjrawl | February 26, 2009 7:31 AM | Report abuse

The free throw shooting killed them. The officiating didn't help. Gary coached a crappy game, no Burney and leaving Greivas in with three fouls and 19 minutes left in the game. The double teams that led to open threes were pathetic. Duke has one played who can get his own shot, Henderson, and really he has one move, go right hard leading with a left hand stiff arm. Granted Mosley was getting called for fouls where the only contact was said left arm extended into his chest but you still have to force him left and can't double team to leave open shooters. The breaks just didn't go MDs way tonight, most of which were bad breaks they created for themselves. Losing to the #7 team(albeit overrated) in the country by 11 when you play up to about 40% of your potential isn't all that bad of a result. MUST win Sunday...

Posted by: Lee26 | February 26, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

A very exciting game last night. Would have been better if we won, but you can't always get what you want.

The problems at the FT line seemed so out of character for the Terps. They were nearly flawless at the line against UNC. When Greivis missed those 2 from the line, it seemed to put the entire team in a funk.

The foul trouble showed a fundamental truth about MD: they never seem to have the depth to match Duke. The dookies usually have more quality performers coming off the bench. While the Terps were holding their own for awhile, eventually it caught up with them as Vasquez, Milbourne, and Mosely all fouled out. Just like at tourney time, most teams can hang with the big dogs up until the last several minutes when they run out of fouls to give, run out of energy, and run out of good players coming off the bench. Something to think about for next year.

One other thing this game proved was that the 41-point blowout was a fluke, one of those games where nothing went right and you just have to just forget about it and move on. The bad news, though, is that now they must win the next three games including a game at Wake in order to get to that magical record of 9-7 in conference play so they can get to the dance.

Posted by: ecglotfelty | February 26, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

DOWN: I can't believe the student section had another coordinated "F*** YOU!" chant. I was there for the Reddick incident back in 03/04, and that was embarrassing enough. To get caught on ESPN doing it again, even worse. I guess there was enough going on on the court this time for the announcers to overlook it, but still -- classless, and not a fitting representation of the vast majority of Maryland fans.

Posted by: MJHinVA | February 26, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

The Terps dive on the floor for about 5 loose balls and they might win this game.

Duke looked like the desperate team. Bilas called it early in the second half when someone on Maryland tried to dribble out of a scrum for a loose ball.

Posted by: franktrenholm | February 26, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

ecglotfelty: "One other thing this game proved was that the 41-point blowout was a fluke,"

Never any question about that. Mike K would agree with you. The ACC has too much parity for one team to routinely blow out others. That wasn't always the case.

The last 3 games -- Wake here, NC State and Virginia away. May sound strange, but I think winning one of the road games might actually carry more wait than another home win.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 26, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Elliott Williams is 9-13 in the two games Duke won by a total of 52 points. I think he can create his own shot.

Posted by: miken1984 | February 26, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

agree with MJHinVA. When is someone in the AD going to get the vulgarity under control? I'd like to bring my kid back to a game.

As for the game. Foul shots. GV makes his two, and momentum shifts in our favor. Tied at 60, the only thing keeping us from a W was the kind of momentum we had at the end of the Carolina game.

Posted by: Effyeahterps | February 26, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

How about all the bad rolls we had? Must've been 4-5 layups that trickled out, a couple of them woulda been 3 pt plays. Between Greivis being a non-factor in the 2nd and less than stellar free throw shooting this game was not going to go MD's way.

Posted by: jwt22 | February 26, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

"Effyeahterps" wants the AD office to control the vulgarity? That's funny.

It was a tough fought game and MD should be proud of the effort, except for lack of hustle on a couple of loose balls in the second half.

Stop "Terpping" about the refs. They didn't cost MD the game. This continous whining about refs makes us look bad.

Posted by: JM256 | February 26, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

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