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Maryland knocks off Duke, 79-72

I've heard there are riot police attempting to maintain peace and order in College Park right now, but here inside Comcast Center all is calm. Traces of evidence remain from Maryland's seven-point win Wednesday night over No. 4 Duke -- posterboard and torn up newspaper discarded by the fans who rushed the court at the final buzzer litters the court -- but even more lasting will be the victory's aftereffects.

By Saturday night, Maryland could either share or outright own its first ACC regular season championship since 2002. The Terrapins are in prime position to earn a high seed in the NCAA tournament and, thus, play at a first round site closer to home. Team-wide confidence might be at a season-high -- and that's saying something for a squad that has had a wealth of highlights over the past month.

And all of that was made possible by a win over a Duke squad that many prognosticators had projected as a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

The second half featured nine ties and six lead changes. At first the offensive rhythm that Maryland had generated for most of the first half disappeared, but the Terrapins' defense held firm. By the end of the game, senior guard Greivis Vasquez was leading an efficient Maryland attack once again.

"They didn’t have good looks; we didn’t have good looks, so it was kind of like two rams butting heads there," Maryland Coach Gary Williams said of the start to the second half. "It was just who was going to get the first score to make things go a little easier. We just stayed there."

Three Up:

1) Eric Hayes's quick start. Maryland built a 14-point lead in the first half, and the Terrapins did so with Hayes displaying an assertiveness he seldom has shown during his four years in College Park. Hayes scored nine of his 13 points and tallied all five of his rebounds during the first half. Gary Williams said it was fitting that Hayes was the one senior who managed to calm his nerves and hide his excitement at the outset. With Vasquez and Landon Milbourne struggling early, it was Hayes who buoyed the Terrapins early.

2) Greivis Vasquez's strong finish. Vasquez shot 4 for 7 from the field and scored 13 of his 20 points after halftime. As might have been expected on senior night, Vasquez was a little too amped up at start of Wednesday's game. But after the Terrapins struggled offensively at the beginning of the second half, Vasquez help lead Maryland's surge down the stretch. It should also be noted that junior guard Adrian Bowie came off the bench and provided a huge lift for the Terrapins during the early part of the second half. Gary Williams credited Bowie, who finished with nine points on 4 of 4 shooting with keeping the Terrapins within striking range while the team worked through some offensive struggles right after the intermission.

3) Jordan Williams. The freshman forward from Torrington, Conn. now has recorded six double-doubles this season. He tallied 15 points and 11 rebounds Wednesday night against Duke and was the main reason why Maryland was able to claim the rebounding edge, 36-35. Duke center Brian Zoubek got his share of rebounds -- 13 -- but Williams defended much better against Zoubek Wednesday than he did a few weeks ago in Durham. Zoubek scored just four points Wednesday.

Three Down:

1) Defending Nolan Smith and Jon Scheyer. There are reasons why Scheyer is one of the top candidates for ACC player of the year and why Smith widely is considered the most improved player on Duke's roster this season. Many of those reasons were on display in the second half Wednesday night, as the Terrapins struggled to contain the Blue Devils' backcourt duo. Smith and Scheyer combined to score 24 of Duke's 34 points after the intermission. Smith finished with 20 points, while Scheyer finished with 19.

2) Attacking the zone D. Late in the first half, Duke switched to a zone defense and, according to Eric Hayes, that initially hindered Maryland's offensive production. The Terrapins slowed down and were not as active on the offensive end. But Maryland was persistent, as it has been all season, and eventually made the adjustments necessary to work its way out of its funk as the second half progressed.

3) Landon Milbourne. The senior forward tallied five points and zero rebounds. He played just five minutes in the first half after picking up two early fouls. Gary Williams acknowledged Milbourne's recent struggles in his postgame press conference, but said he expects Milbourne to pick up his play in the postseason. If this is how the Terrapins can play when Milbourne is not firing on all cylinders, imagine how good they could be if Milbourne does, indeed, come around.

By Steve Yanda  |  March 4, 2010; 1:08 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Maryland-Duke: The morning after

Comments

Amazing game. I wasn't there but the atmosphere seemed downright insane. That crowd just has a different level it goes to sometimes that I haven't felt anywhere else. It has almost a violent, runaway train vibe for the really big games and tonight that was coming through the TV loud and clear. Never have I heard so many profane chants so clearly over the air.

Great work by everyone on the team. Congratulations to the seniors. And a special shout out to Bowie who we could not possibly have won without tonight.

Posted by: Hobes | March 4, 2010 2:04 AM | Report abuse

Hobes:
"a violent, runaway train"
Yes, that certainly does describe the crowd tonight. However, you seem to think that was a good thing. Anyone that had children watching that game might disagree. The constant F U chants were disgusting - we ended up muting the TV so the children didn't have to listen to that filth.
The riots following this game were dangerous and ridiculous that policemen had to bring out tear gas to control the mob.
The team works hard to win and the fans ruin it by embarassing the school once again by their crude, drunken behavior.

Posted by: cbbfan | March 4, 2010 2:40 AM | Report abuse

Hobes:
"a violent, runaway train"
Yes, that certainly does describe the crowd tonight. However, you seem to think that was a good thing. Anyone that had children watching that game might disagree. The constant F U chants were disgusting - we ended up muting the TV so the children didn't have to listen to that filth.
The riots following this game were dangerous and ridiculous that policemen had to bring out tear gas to control the mob.
The team works hard to win and the fans ruin it by embarassing the school once again by their crude, drunken behavior.


HI! you. person who wasn't here. who does not know what you are talking about. THERE WAS NO MOB. it was simply groups of students going to route one to go the bars to celebrate. THE COPS ARE WHAT CAUSED THE PROBLEMS. they tear gassed us and beat people to the ground. NOONE. was doing anything wrong. sorry we have school spirit and pride and want to support and celebrate our terps by dancing and having a few drinks with our friends after the game. the f u chants were barely audible on the tv and your children were going to be exposed to it anyway. can't shield them from everything forever. this is the real world. have fun when they grow up and realize that you are an over controlling parent who doesn't know the definition of fun.

Posted by: kgoldsbo | March 4, 2010 3:24 AM | Report abuse

What else do you expect from a young college crowd? If you think your children aren't old enough to hear curse words or even abbreviated curse words, then they shouldn't be watching a COLLEGE sport with COLLEGE fans.

Also, I think it's unfair that you call the fans embarrassing for the school. As a student myself, I witnessed the riot. Most people were not drunk, but just happened to stop and watch the crowd on the streets as they were walking home from the game. The police wouldn't let anyone walk past them and would only chase people back onto campus. Police should have allowed the crowd to disperse on its own instead of choosing to bring out pepper spray and tear gas, only causing more chaos.

Posted by: victorialee89 | March 4, 2010 3:33 AM | Report abuse

I recorded the 2nd half as I watched. Could have re-watched any number of superb plays by Bowie, Hayes, Vasquez, or Williams, but no, I just replayed the smirkey look that Coach K gets when he knows he's lost. Love it.

Profane chant was disappointing but let it go. Too good a night to focus on the negative.

Posted by: erniegogo | March 4, 2010 6:25 AM | Report abuse

Jon Scheyer plays with 4 other McDonalds All-Americans. Vasquez plays with a good supporting team, but there is no comparison.

Given his impact on the team, Vasquez is clearly ACC Player of the Year.

Posted by: dc_attorney | March 4, 2010 6:50 AM | Report abuse

Steve Yanda,

I thought Coach Williams couldn't recruit quality players, or the players necessary to compete and win the ACC? This win and season further discredits your already premature piece from last year.

By the way, where is the article about Georgetown and their second consecutive late season nosedive? Perhaps Gary isn't the coach in town that should be looking over his shoulder or having 12,000 word columns questioning his ability.

Posted by: S2DU | March 4, 2010 7:14 AM | Report abuse

I left Bentley's at 7pm to come home and watch the game. Did not look like a rioting crowd along route 1 at all. If anything, the crowd skewed much older than I would have expected.

for those who went to the game, what an electric atmosphere. The hostility towards Duke was priceless if indeed at times profane. Do not care, we won and that is all that matters. Beat UVA and we get a new banner. (Go Tar Heels, beat Duke this weekend so we get the top seed in the ACC tournament.) The end of the first half, first ten munutes or so of the second was where the Terps showed their mettle, led by AB. Duke DID play very well. We didn't catch them on an off night; we out executed them down the stretch. Hopefully they'll show THIS game on ESPN classics next year before MD-Duke instead of the 2001 last minute collapse game they were showing in Bentley's (which was blissfully turned off prior to the final minute). Barno, JPF and JoeMama - hope you guys aren't hurting too badly this morning. Oh yeah, a toast was raised to Poopy by Barno before he bought everyone a round of shots.

Go Terps, Destroy UVA.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | March 4, 2010 7:23 AM | Report abuse

In terms of comparison, I watched the 2002 NC from the bar in Bentley's (the last time I was there before last night) and when the DJ asked "Are there any alumni in the house?" only two people (incl. me) responded. There were thugs from Baltimore, thugs from Annandale (who broke a window in Bentley's prior to the opening tip), thugs from DC, and from all around PG. Every single one of them was there more for the riot and was hoping the game would end quickly. So don't blame the issues completely on the kids. When we walked down route 1 after the win (I was parked in front of the chapel) in the midst of the official NC post game riot, it seemed that students were not the majority of rioters. It was some of the non-students we saw tearing down street signs and such to spark a riot.

Students sure seemed to be the minority last night in Bentley's at least. Last night the crowd was mostly alumni and basketball fans. Hope no one got injured.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | March 4, 2010 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Message for Poopy -

You had asked about this guy back during one of the better days on the board.

http://www.diamondbackonline.com/cluck-u-without-its-pac-1.294376

cluck-u did not exist when I was in school.

Did I ever tell you about the concert that killed Wang Chung? now that was funny and represents how much we had to do on campus back in the 1980s.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | March 4, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse

ccbfan,Just a closing note on your comments..If your precious kids are old enough to syay up past 9 pm then they have heard this all before...Remember these are the kids who think oral sex is not sex and OK

GO AWAY AND GIVE THE "REAL FANS, PLAYERS AND ALUMNI THERE CREDIT DUE

HELL IN A SHEEL HOPE THAT DOES NOT OFFEND YA

Posted by: carolina1 | March 4, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Wow - haven't heard from carolina1 in a while. Were you at the game last night or in Cary? Gotta give props to our crowd. Our homecourt had to be worth at least 5 points if not 7. Especially the way the crowd stayed in the game when Duke made its run and MD was struggling but keeping it close.

Cursing aside, I was real happy about the hostile environment our fans delivered on last night. It was needed in such a tight game. As an alumni I am NOT embarrassed at all. In the end, no one remembers the profanity, riots or other stuff...we remember that wtf shot GV shot to put us up by 4, AB going 4-4 when no else on the team could score, and JW hitting his FTs. It was a classic regular season ACC game. Go UNC (at least this weekend) and beat UVA.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | March 4, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

I don't think anybody is going to listen to some idiot on this board telling them how to raise kids. My take on profanity is that if the kids don't know what it is, then it doesn't matter. If they do, well then they already know that grownups use it sometimes.

I'm more embarrassed with the ED commercials when my daughters are in the room, but can explain things delicately or deceptively if I have to.

I guess I was concentrating on the action in the game, but I never heard profanity in the chants on my TV. I did hear "You suck" before the tipoff, but maybe I was hearing the order reversed and the first letter wrong.

Posted by: booger1 | March 4, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

That was about as good as it gets in the regular season. MARYLAND beat Duke last night: The team, the coaches, the students, the alumni, the Comcast Center. The refs didn't beat Duke. Duke didn't beat Duke. Maryland beat Duke!

My first inkling that things might go well was Jordan Williams' bank-shot free throw early on. What a game he played. We should all remember that huge put-back near the end, but his play throughout was inspired and inspiring. Write it down: JW made 7 of nine free throws.

Duke's POY candidate, Jon Scheyer, shot 7 of 21 on the night, 3 of 10 from behind the arc. He had 4 turnovers and only 2 assists. His misses often didn't seem to matter because many of Duke's 14 offensive boards came from them. Scheyer's shooting problems, and with the exception of Nolan Smith, Duke's shooting problems as a team were due to tough Maryland defense. Duke shot 39% from the field and 37% from 3-point range. Duke had only 8 assists. That's defense.

The lasting memories from last night will be those provided by Greivis Vasquez, Eric Hayes and Coach K.

Grevis worked his magic at the end, but was gritty throughout. The three in response to Scheyer's and that crazy floater that clanged around and went in were the highlights, but his encouragement of the crowd was classic. The last two free throws were icing on the cake.

Hayes got us going and had an amazing first half. When he is aggressive it makes a big difference. I don't want to forget Bowie, whose performance was crucial and provided some good thoughts for next year.

As for Coach K, all I can say is that it is so much fun to watch as his team looses down the stretch. I have great respect for him, but it's fun to watch him lose. Credit the refs for not buckling to his baiting.

Okay, so we have at least a tie for the regular season championship if we win Saturday. Let's have some fun today, but we have to be focused for UVA.

Go Terps.

Posted by: petecard | March 4, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I love these people who take their kids to college games or watch them on TV and are upset by the juvenile behavior. It's college! What do you expect!?! The kids are drunk and are gonna have fun. If you want a lame atmosphere, go to or watch a Wizards or Redskins game!

Posted by: aviscardo | March 4, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Congrats to the Terps and their fans.
I was very happy, as a fan of Duke, to see them play so hard in such a great environment. MD fans do take a ton of abuse for different reasons but I always feel like their actions are in support of their team and the majority are their to help the team.
The key play from my perspective was the tip in by Williams over Zoubek. This tied the game (I believe) and prevented Duke from milking the clock. Credit to Vasquez, who was largely ineffective (on offense or defense) from the halfway mark of the first half to the halfway point of the second half. He scored 11 going down the stretch. That floater at the end was pure karma but I guess you guys are used to that kind of play from him.
I hope there is a game in the tourney for these two. It would have to be in the Championship but both teams have the ability to get there.

Posted by: ianplittle35 | March 4, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Never a fan of censorship - I enjoyed the fans and GV inciting them to higher noise levels. Great point about aviscardo on the lame atmosphere at a zards or skins game. At the Zards games, the only real excitement is during the kiss-cam. The most excited I have ever seen the crowd was a year or two after the NC, against the Sonics, Dixon, Blake, Baxter and Wilcox were on the floor together for a few minutes. We went nuts. Otherwise, yawn until the kiss cam and hope its not pointed at you....

There was more excitement at Cole when MD was on probation than there has ever been at a Zards game. In terms of the skins - the stadium has no soul. And its hard to get up for the game when one has spent 4 hours in parking lot traffic to arrive midway during the second period.

MD is the best entertainment in the region by far. I actually feel for Gtown playing in the sterility of the phone booth.

when the crowd at comcast is going nuts, you feel it through your TV set, and for the first half for me last night, through my computer. (The kids were watching idol). The cable box, like Camden Yards, has soul. My colleague from Duke did not come in today....

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | March 4, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

ianplittle35,

Nice, classy post from a professed Duke fan. Your program since the Alarie-Dawkins class has been great for the ACC. We still need to beat UVA, y'all still need to beat UNC. Niether of which is automatic. See you in the AC tourney.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | March 4, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Cursing, etc doesn't really bother me, but it's not necessary and I understand why it does bother parents. I'm all for having a good time at games, but I'd like to be able to take my kids some day.

I say be loud and let the team's play do the real talking.

Posted by: acebojangles | March 4, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

That was a special game and a special crowd last night. I won't take this one of my DVR for a long time.

Posted by: lavar609 | March 4, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Hgr, I qas in Cary watching the game with 9 other terp alumni and 1 dukie... My next store neighbors plays fb for duke so when we lost to them at cameron he hung his flag out...Now the duke flag is down and the terp flag is up till tourney time...This is the nice part of living on a golf course(prestonwood cc) everyone sees the terp flag...

looking forward to the tourney and its nice to have it an hour from the house..

BLOW VA OUT...

Posted by: carolina1 | March 4, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

What a win, crowd was nuts. Kids can go to the games and watch it on tv, people need to lighten up.

Hugh it was cool meeting you last night. In a role reversal, I will be stuck watching Terps on the computer this weekend while in nyc

Posted by: jpfterps | March 4, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

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