Maryland came into tonight 75th overall in RPI, with the 113th Strength of Schedule, and 61st in the Ken Pomeroy ratings. With their 83-81 victory over #2 Duke, their potential NCAA Tournament resume has been greatly improved. The Terrapins are now 18-7 overall, 6-6 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, with 6 regular season games remaining in ACC play.
Lots will be made about today possibly being Duke’s last trip to the Comcast Center (at-least with both MD and Duke being members of the ACC). The environment was loud and emotional. Games against the Blue Devils have been circled on Maryland’s calendar for 15+ years. They have meant something to the Terrapins faithful. They meant the most when Maryland had built themselves into a true National contender. They mattered less when the Terps became less relevant, and Duke again dominated the series. Universally, pretty much all Maryland fans will miss playing Duke. Playing Duke has been fun. The times MD has been able to beat Duke have been great.
Getting back to the Tournament, and moving towards again becoming an elite National program is what really matters though. Today’s win was a major step back in that direction. That matters a lot more to me, than who Maryland beat.
1) Layman put MD on the board first, hitting a 3 from the top of the key. A block from behind at 29-28 Duke, led to a MD fast-break that Layman finished for the MD lead. Another block from Layman (coming out of no where to get Sulaimon), led to Faust’s 3 with 30+ seconds left in the 1st half. Getting down the court, Layman scored to put the Terps up 47-41. Big rebound from Layman with 27 seconds left.
2) Len got position on Plumlee, and went to the rim for an early dunk, putting MD up 5-0. He tipped in an offensive miss from Cleare, giving MD a 7-2 lead. At 18-14 Terps, Len blocked Plumlee. Len’s 3rd basket came on a difficult short turn-around. To start the 2nd half, Len went right at Plumlee, and got the foul. He was commanding the ball on the first several plays of the 2nd half. Great hustle on his own miss led to Cleare’s make. At 57-53, Len went up and in, aggressively going at Plumlee and scoring again. Great play out of a timeout. Plumlee attempted to score on Len down the other end of the court, on a fade-away. Len came up with another block. Len had 19 points, 8 boards, and 3 blocks. He was also a huge reason why Plumlee finished with just 4 points and 3 boards.
3) Mitchell followed his own miss for his first basket. Another strong move, put MD up 14-10. Running the floor, Mitchell finished a layup to give MD a 51-43 lead.
4) An Aronhalt 3, put MD up 12-8.
5) Faust’s first shot attempt was on an aggressive drive to the rim, which got him to the foul line. Hitting both FT’s, MD led 16-12. He followed that with a short jumper, putting MD up 18-14. Great decision from Faust with 1:45 left in the 1st half, finding Mitchell underneath, instead of settling for a jumper. Faust would hit an open 3 with 34 seconds left in the 1st half, putting MD up 35-34.
6) Finally taking his first shot, Wells hit a jumper from the wing, pulling MD within 3 at 25-22 with 8 minutes left in the 1st half. Running the floor, Wells created a layup for Len, making it 25-24 Duke. Wells had 4 of MD’s 6 1st half assists. Wells stepped up and took a charge on Plumlee early in the 2nd half. Using his strength to turn the corner, Wells got the edge and a short jumper to make it 57-53 Terps. Getting into the paint, he drew a foul on Sulaimon. Big rebound from Wells at 64-59 MD. Wells stole the ball, leading to an open-court dunk thrown down with thunderous authority. This made it 70-63 MD. Wells had 9 points, 6 boards, and 6 assists.
7) Maryland took the 26-25 lead, with Padgett scoring inside – while being fouled. Going up and under, Padgett got Plumlee off his feet and scored. This made it 29-28 Duke. Very good defense from Padgett on Plumlee, forcing a turnover with a minute + left. Two FT’s from Padgett, gave MD an 8 point lead with 4 minutes left. Another up-and-under from Padgett, again got Plumlee off his feet. That layup gave MD the 75-67 lead.
8) The Terps went to halftime with a 35-34 lead. What I really liked about the first 20 minutes was that MD wasn’t playing out of their minds. They were just battling on every possession, and even though they had 10 turnovers; I thought they were playing pretty intelligently.
9) In the 1st half, MD won on the boards 15-7, limited Duke to just 5 FT attempts, and 1 of 6 from 3 point land.
10) Putting up a shot with confidence, Allen bured a 3 early in the 2nd half. This gave MD a 42-39 lead. With MD needing a basket, Allen split the defense and scored on a layup to make it 55-50 MD. After turning over on back-to-back series, Allen made 2 FT’s to make it 66-61 Terps. Exploding to the rim on a layup, MD up went up 68-63. Beating his defender, Allen raced to the rim, pushing the lead to 8 (80-72) with 2 minutes left. With the ball in his hands, Allen again got to the rim, and was fouled. Hitting his shots, gave MD the important win.
11) Cleare scored through contact, and hit his foul shot to put MD up 45-41. Fouled once again, Cleare made two more foul-shots to make it 49-41.
12) Maryland had just 3 foul shots in the 1st half. In the 2nd half, they got to the line 31 times.
13) Duke was just 6 of 19 from 3 point land. Some of that was them being off, some of that is MD playing good defense on the perimeter. Nice adjustments from the first game between these teams.
14) The Terrapins crushed Duke on the boards, winning 37-14.
15) Coach Turgeon got the first signature win of his tenure as Maryland’s Head Coach.
1) Allen turned it over on MD’s, first possession. Allen was also charged with a turnover early in the 2nd half. Allen’s 3rd foul sent Curry to the line. An Allen turnover at 59-53 MD, led to a Duke breakaway. With 7 minutes left, and MD up 64-59, Allen turned it over again. With his shoe coming off on the next possession, Duke stole the ball and scored.
2) At 7-4 MD, Len was charged with an offensive foul. After scoring his 3rd basket, Len called for it again the next time down the court. He turned it over in the lane, and made it worse by picking up a cheap foul. At 25-24 Duke, Len put his hip out, picking up his 2nd foul with 5:35 left in the 1st half.
3) The Terps were leading 16-14, when Mitchell turned it over off an in-bounds. Another Mitchell turnover led to a 3 for Duke, letting the Blue Devils pull within 1 at 18-17. With 9 minutes left, Mitchell picked up an offensive foul.
4) After hitting his first 3, Aronhalt missed his next two attempts, both on good looks. The 2nd missed 3, missed everything, causing Mitchell to fall out of bounds trying to save the ball. A poor pass from Aronhalt gave Murphy a breakaway jam. This made it 59-57 MD, with 8:21 left.
5) MD was down 23-20, with an in-bounds underneath the Duke basket. Layman was not able to handle the pass, leading to a Duke fast-break. He missed 1 of his 2 foul shots with 30 seconds left. He fouled Sulaimon on a 3 point shot with 17 seconds left, sending him to the line with an opportunity to tie.
6) Wells picked up a charge, attempting to score inside. At the 15:56 mark of the 2nd half, Wells picked up 3rd foul. MD led 49-41 at the time. At 59-53 MD, Wells missed 2 foul shots. A minute+ later, he made 1 of 2 in another trip to the line. At 71-64 Terps, Wells turned it over, and fouled Duke. This put the Blue Devils on the line with 4:36 left. With 39 seconds left, Wells picked up a charge, giving Duke the ball down 2. This fouled Wells out of the game.
7) With 2 minutes left in the 1st half, Cleare picked up an offensive foul. Duke was 34-30 at the time.
8) Maryland had 10 turnovers in the 1st half, and only had 3 FT attempts.
9) At 49-43 Terps, Faust picked up an offensive foul. A minute later, Faust picked up a foul on a hold. Bad turnover from Faust from the top of key. Too much dribbling, loosing the ball, leading to a Duke fast-break.
10) Sulaimon was held without a point in the first half, came out and put up 7 points in the first 5 minutes of the 2nd half.
11) After hitting a 3 to make 53-46 MD, Duke also came up with the Terps in-bounds. Murphy would score on a foul by Padgett. After Murphy missed his FT, Allen turned it over. Bad sequence for the Terps.
12) Padgett picked up his 4th foul with 11 minutes left.
1) Maryland finished with 25 turnovers, with Allen’s 8 leading the way.