Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Duke tops Maryland, 78-67

Maryland, trying to ride a wave of momentum and complete an improbable two-game stretch against No. 3 North Carolina and No. 7 Duke, fell behind late in the second half when Gerald Henderson and Kyle Singler hit consecutive three-pointers. Ahead 66-60, Duke took the lead for good.

The Terps could've used more from its best player, Greivis Vasquez, in the second half, but he picked up his fourth personal foul with 18 minutes left in the game. Because of the foul trouble, Vasquez was limited to 22 minutes (10 points, six rebounds, five assists) in the game. Sean Mosley also missed a few minutes in the second half after apparently twisting his ankle.

Landon Milbourne (19 points), Adrian Bowie (14 points), and Eric Hayes (10 points) all had solid games. Dave Neal had an OK night with six points, but he did have one bone-jarring screen on Nolan Smith, who didn't return to the game afterwards.

Unfortunately, Cliff Tucker didn't contribute much, as he had just four points in 19 minutes on one-of-five shooting. Apparently he can only score points against North Carolina; he hasn't scored more than 14 points against anyone else this season.

Duke might have been in trouble if not for the play of Henderson -- 19 points, eight rebounds, three assists, and four blocks. Henderson got Duke going with a thunderous dunk early in the second half, and he also played pretty good defense and made some timely blocks. He stepped up for Singler, who didn't have one of his best games.

Even with the loss, Maryland still controls its NCAA Tournament chances. The Terps' three remaining games are: at NC State, home against No. 14 Wake Forest, and at Virginia. With the way Wake Forest has been playing, all three games are winnable.

The loss to Duke hurts, as it always does, but there's still plenty of work to be done. Now isn't the time for panic.

AP Photo/Rob Carr

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