Maryland got off to a 2-0 lead at Cameron Indoor Stadium last night. It went downhill from there. Duke shot the lights out in the first half, with Greg Paulus and Kyle Singler (career high 26 points) draining several three pointers.
The Terps set offense looked out of synch from the opening tap. They occasionally got the ball in the paint to Bambale “boom” Osby, who had a solid first half. But, where was James Gist? He scored his first points of the game with nearly 12 minutes off the clock.
Did Maryland’s guards do a poor job getting Gist the ball close to the basket? Did Gist do a poor job of making himself available in good scoring position? Did Duke do a better job defensively down low than in their first matchup last month? It was probably a combination of all three…
Duke 22-1 (10-0 1st place ACC) looked very good, making several uncontested shots while opening up a 41-30 half time lead.
Greivis Vasquez kept Maryland in the game in the first half, when three of the five starters (Gist, Hayes and Milbourne) were basically AWOL. Vasquez is a polarizing figure. You either love him or hate him, sometimes both during the game! For all the crazy passes, ill-advised shots and on-court behavior, Maryland would have gotten blown out last night without Vasquez on the court.
Duke opened up a 16 point lead early in the second half, forcing Gary Williams to take a time out and regroup. It seemed to work because the scrappy Terps slowed down Duke’s offense and whittled the lead down to 57-55 with under 8 minutes remaining.
Maryland 16-9 (6-4 3rd place ACC) had their chances to take the lead, but a few missed shots and a few turnovers took care of that. Duke widened the lead and won going away, 77-65.
Duke forced 18 Maryland turnovers, and the Terps only had 11 assists, which for them is very low. In the two losses to Duke, Maryland had 42 turnovers. Ouch…
Greivis Vasquez led the Terps with 25 points, 7 assists, 7 rebounds and 5 to’s. James Gist didn’t have his best game, with only 9 points and 7 boards. Landon Milbourne reverted to his level of play from earlier in the season and was a non-factor.
Eric Hayes may have played his worst game in Maryland uniform. Duke guarded him 25-30 feet away from the basket and he could not beat his man off the dribble. He telegraphed several passes, and did a poor job of getting the ball into his teammate’s hands in good shooting position, an area in which he typically excels. His defense was suspect and his line for the game was an abysmal 3 points on 1-7 shooting, zero assists and 4 to’s.
In their first meeting in January in College Park, Duke’s guard trio of Henderson, Nelson and Smith torched Maryland for a combined for 63 points. Last night they only had 16 points total, but Greg Paulus and Kyle Singler picked up the slack with a combined 46 points between them.
Maryland returns home to Comcast Center on Saturday afternoon with a game against Fla. State 14-10 (3-6 tied for 9th place ACC).