Even with the impressive play of Jordan Williams in the Maryland frontcourt this season, it still figured to be a struggle for the Terps against Duke’s imposing size.
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski knew it too and started 7-foot-1 Brian Zoubek for the first time all season, giving the Blue Devils an even bigger lineup against the Terps. Zoubek responded with a career-high 16 points and 17 rebounds, manhandling an overmatched Maryland frontcourt to lead the Blue Devils to a 77-56 victory at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Saturday.
Duke (21-4, 9-2 ACC) dominated the paint throughout the afternoon as Maryland couldn’t get around screens, leading to easy inside opportunities for the Blue Devils. In contrast, the Maryland offense struggled to find open looks all afternoon and even when the opportunities came, the Terps failed to take advantage.
“We didn’t play well enough, and basically, that was the game,” coach Gary Williams said after the the loss.
A simple explanation, but there wasn’t much more the coach could say after his team was outplayed in every facet of the game.
Duke controlled the glass (39-34), played smarter basketball (seven turnovers to 14 for Maryland), and showed more energy throughout the afternoon. Jon Scheyer led the Blue Devils with 22 points as they took control of the ACC standings.
Maryland (16-7, 6-3 ACC) needed to lean on its senior leadership in a hostile environment, but it never surfaced in Durham.
After claiming Cameron Indoor Stadium was his “house” earlier in the week, Greivis Vasquez was held to just two points in the first half and did not get on track until after the intermission. It was far from the final performance he envisioned heading into Saturday.
Fellow senior Landon Milbourne was eaten alive by the Duke frontcourt, finishing with two points on 1-for-6 shooting.
Looking to avenge a humiliating 85-44 loss a year ago in Durham, the Terps briefly held a 6-5 lead but never again led as things quickly unraveled from there.
A near seven-minute scoring drought and 13-0 run by the Blue Devils created a 40-24 deficit at the break. Shooting 0-for-7 from 3-point range and failing to attempt a free throw in the first half certainly didn’t help the Terps’ efforts in Krzyzewski’s 1,000th career game at Duke.
Despite being thoroughly dominated for most of the game, Maryland cut the deficit to 54-44 as a rejuvenated Vasquez briefly took over the game before Duke went on a 13-1 run to seal the Terps’ fate. Vasquez finished with 17 points and seven rebounds in the loss.
As one-sided as it appeared—and really was—Duke left the door open on several occasions for the Terps to climb back in the game, but Maryland simply wasn’t good enough.
Not even close.
The loss continues a disturbing trend as the Terps again struggled to shoot the basketball away from Comcast Center. Maryland shot 37.7 percent from the field and finished just 2-for-13 from 3-point range while Duke shot 41.5 percent and made 5-of-15 from beyond the arc.
The Terps cannot afford to feel sorry for themselves long as they’ll return to College Park to host Virginia on Monday night in a makeup game from last week’s snowstorm. Today’s loss starts a five-day stretch that includes three games, the final game coming at NC State on Wednesday night.
“I expect [the team] to come into practice tomorrow and play great,” Williams said. “I don’t expect any carryover from this.”
Check out the final stats right here.