Maryland Terrapins Fall To #4 Ranked Duke Blue Devils, 93-84
Maryland Head Coach Gary Williams enters Comcast Center with his fist raised in the air ready to take on Mike Krzyzewski's Duke Blue Devils at the Comcast Center in College Park MD on January 27, 2008. Christopher Blunck/DC Sports Box
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- The Maryland Terrapins outshot and out-rebounded the Blue Devils in the first half, but second half turnovers in the early going allowed the Blue Devils to grab a lead and maintain it through the closing 20 minutes.

The visiting team section was temporarily moved from it's regular location behind the visiting team bench to sections 122 and 123 so that additional Maryland students could be seated court-side.  The noise at tipoff was overwhelming, and Maryland used it to their advantage, marching off the bench with confidence from their recent win over the #1 ranked North Carolina Tar Heels.

On the first possession Bombale Osby grabbed the ball and fed James Gist in the paint.  Gist went up on the left hand side of the basket for a 1 handed dunk.  Comcast Center, already yelling after the tipoff, erupted in celebration as it appeared the Terrapins could continue the momentum they started last week in Chapel Hill.

Duke countered with a drive towards the basket by Gerald Henderson. His shot went up and rolled around the basket gingerly before falling through the rope.  Tied at 2 a piece Bombale Osby went straight up the lane and put up a one handed layup.  On his next possession he was in heavy traffic and penetrated to give the Terps a 6-2 lead in just over 1 minute of play.

After a missed free throw by Duke, Vasquez dribbled the ball to the baseline and drew the Blue Devil defense towards him.  With Osby unguarded, Vasquez used a tight pass under the basket gave the 6'8" 250lb senior a good look.  Osby sent it home with a double handed layup.

The rapid pace of the game continued, with both teams scoring in quick succession.  A 3 pointer by Greivis Vasquez with 16:59 remaining put the Terps up by 6 at 11-5, but 13 seconds later Greg Paulus answered the call with a 3 pointer of his own.  Heading into the first official timeout of the first half the Terrapins led the Blue Devils 13-12.

Adrian Bowie came into the game after the timeout and quickly got into the game when he pump-faked on a drive, drawing the Blue Devil defense to go up to block a dunk.  He pulled back, went left, and hit a layup to regain a Terrapin lead at 16-14.

The Blue Devils took their first lead of the game at 12:54 remaining in the first half when a foul by Greivis Vasquez sent Greald Henderson to the line for 2 shots.  Henderson's free-throws were good giving Duke a 2 point 16-18 lead.  Maryland responded with Cliff Tucker, who received a a quick full-court pass from Adrian Bowie.  The 6'6" 190lb freshman went up for a jumpshot on the left hand side near the free throw line, and tied the game at 18 a piece.

The Blue Devils wouldn't lay down though and picked up another 2 point lead off a jumpshot by DeMarcus Nelson.  Nelson's shot with 10:38 rolled in but the Terps inbounded the ball quickly, catching Duke off guard.  Vasquez took the ball up the court and headed towards the left hand side.  He drove in towards the free throw line and faked to the right for a pass, drawing the Duke defense off guard.  Vasquez spun around to the left, shot, and tied the game for the 5th time at 20-20 with 10:19 remaining.

Another tie at 25 a piece arrived with 8:18 remaining, but Duke pulled ahead after Gerald Henderson hit a jumper and DeMarcus was fouled and made 2 free throws.  Down by 4 (the largest lead for Duke in the first half), Gary called timeout.  The timeout got things moving for the Terps and Landon Milbourne came out and hit a 3-pointer to bring the Terps to within 1.  A free throw shot by Eric Hayes did the rest for the Terps and Maryland managed to tie the game at 29-29 with 7:17 remaining.

With 7:04 remaining Duke's Jon Scheyer lined up to take a 3 pointer from the left hand side.  His shot bounced off the rim and back towards him where Eric Hayes grabbed the rebound.  Gist instinctively started running up the court, and Hayes eyed him on his sprint. Haye's lob pass to Gist was flawless and Gist picked it up at the free throw line, leapt into the air, and powered home a 1 handed dunk on the right hand side.  With Gist's dunk Maryland regained the lead and the Terrapin crowd erupted in cheers.

The mania continued when Landon Milbourne blocked DeMarcus Nelson's shot with 6:16 remaining and Greivis Vasquez snatched the rebound. Vasquez sprinted up the court and into the middle of the lane.  He went left and the Blue Devil forwards collapsed on him.  Fortunately James Gist was there on the right and Vasquez found him with a pass. Gist dribbled once and sent home a commanding dunk to give the Terps a 35-29 lead.

Duke clawed back and brought the game to within 2 points at 42-40 with 2:16 remaining, but the Terps went on a 9-2 run to close out the half up 51-42.  James Gist scored a dunk and 3 free throws, Eric Hayes hit a pair of free throws, and Cliff Tucker rounded out the half with a layup with 16 seconds remaining.

Maryland's performance in the first half was nearly unstoppable.  The Terps shot a season high 18-29 (62.1%) from field goal range, and were effective from 3 point range (2-6).  Maryland out-rebounded the Blue Devils 22-14, but committed 7 more turnovers, which led to 4 second chance points for Duke.  The Terrapin's presence down low was forceful, as Bombale Osby and James Gist combined for 12 and 14 points respectively.  Osby also grabbed 9 rebounds for the Terps, nearly scoring a double-double in the first half.  Maryland outscored Duke 30-16 in the paint, and hand 5 more second chance points.

The start of Maryland's undoing came at the beginning of the second half.  A turnover by Bombale Osby on Maryland's first possession previewed the unraveling that was to overtake the Terrapins in the opening 5 minutes.  2 turnovers by Osby, and 1 turnover by Gist allowed Duke to cut the Maryland lead to 3 points within a minute of the bell sounding, and the Terrapin fanbase was silenced.

Maryland's scoring also got a slow start in the second half, with James Gist missing a jumpshot, Eric Hayes missing from 3 point range, and Greivis Vasquez missing a short jumper.  It wasn't until 2:34 into the second half that Maryland scored on a layup by Bombale Osby.

Once the Terrapins found their feet they showed some teeth on several possessions.  With 16:55 remaining Vasquez brought the ball around the 3 point arc and passed to Gist in the paint on the left hand side. Landon Milbourne saw the opportunity to work past his man and Gist spotted the breaking Milbourne heading for the lane.  Gist's pass to Milbourne went behind Milbourne's defender's back and landed perfectly in Milbourne's hands.  Milbourne laid it up for a deuce and the Terps were back up by 5 at 55-50.

Duke battled back and made it a 57-55 game with 15:44 remaining in the game when Gist made a commanding play.  Vasquez brought the ball upcourt and dribbled towards the Terrapin bench.  On his way towards Coach Williams Vasquez powered the ball into Gist who was open in lane.  Gist went up for a confident 1 handed dunk and was smacked by Paulus, drawing a foul.  Gist's dunk is good but the senior missed the follow-on point, giving the Terps a 59-55 lead and a bit of energy.

Unfortunately the energy was short lived.  On the next possession Eric Hayes turned over the ball to Damarcus Nelson at midcourt who chased it down and came up with an open dunk while Hayes lay on the floor near the Duke bench.  Nelson's dunk brought Duke to a 2 point deficit and quieted the crowd.

Duke took the lead with 12:23 remaining when a quick jumpshot by Bombale Osby caused the Terrapins to be slow on getting back on defense.  The Blue Devils responded by getting the ball quickly to Kyle Singler who was wide open for the 3-pointer.  Maryland regained the lead shortly thereafter, but Duke came back on a 3 pointer by Paulus to tie the game at 67 a piece with just over 10 minutes to play.

From there on out the Blue Devils protected the lead and Maryland could not regain the advantage.  Despite Paulus and Thomas picking up 4 fouls coming down the stretch the Duke coaching staff decided to continue playing the starters.  Only Singler fouled out, and the Blue Devil strategy paid off.

Down by 9 with 4:33 to go, Maryland had to dig deep to cut the lead before Duke pulled away.  A timeout by Coach Williams gave the Terrapins the time to set up a play, and this time the ball went to Eric Hayes.  Vasquez brought the ball up the court and then passed to Hayes on the baseline who netted a perfect 3.  James Gist then hit a 3-pointer from the top of the arc the Terrapins cut the lead to 3 at 81-84 with 1:56 remaining.

Foul trouble and a lack of rebounding ended up doing in the Terrapins and the offense was never given a chance to put additional points on the board.  Maryland only hit free throws for the remainder of the game and couldn't assemble a shot with double and triple teaming by Duke on Vasquez.

Maryland ended the game with a disappointing 7 point loss.

Terrapin shooting in the second half was severely hampered by the turnovers and exceptional Duke defense.  Maryland put up 28 shots in the second half but only made 13 of them (46.4%).  While certainly a good average it falls short of Duke's 17-32 (53.1%) shooting.  9 turnovers in the second half (4 by Eric Hayes and 4 by Greivis Vasquez) also helped put the Terrapins in the hole.

"The key was that they were able to even up the rebounding in the second half. There were several there that we could have had which would have given us more than one shot at the basket. We didn't do that. When you play a good team, you have to do things the right way and we made some mistakes by not getting the ball. In the first half, we played with a lot of energy and we didn't come out with the same energy after halftime. We tried to get things stirred up and it didn't really happen. It was a fight the whole second half." remarked Maryland Head Coach Gary Williams.

With it's loss to Duke Maryland falls to 2-3 in conference play.  The Terps play Virginia in College Park on Wednesday evening, but then go on the road to take on Georgia Tech and Boston College.