Allen, Terps slip past Blue Devils
Needing a defensive stop to keep Maryland from winning on Saturday night, Duke followed what it had done most of the second half.
And that was what Maryland needed.
After driving the lane and drawing a foul with 2.8 seconds left, Maryland freshman guard Seth Allen sank two free throws to give the Terrapins an 83-81 win over No. 2 Duke before a sell-out crowd at the Comcast Center.
The Terrapins (18-7, 6-6 ACC), who shot 66.7 percent in the second half and made 23 of 31 free throws over the final 20 minutes, designed their final play for center Alex Len, who led them with 19 points.
But Allen, Maryland’s only other double-figure scorer with 16 points, beat Duke guard Quinn Cook down the lane where Cook had to foul him to prevent an easy shot.
“Our action distracted the defense and let him get all the way in the lane,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. “We occupied the defense, and there was no help.”
Allen’s two free throws represented the final failure for Duke’s defense.
“We weren’t talking,” Cook said. “We had some miscommunications on switches and not rebounding and fouling too much. They hit some free throws. All credit to them.”
Cook had a chance to win the game, but his long desperation 3-pointer bounced off the rim.
“We fought back, we had a chance to win and they wanted it more today,” said Cook, who scored 18 points
Duke’s 3-point shooting, defense and halfcourt offense failed to meet its high standards.
The Blue Devils made only 6 of 19 shot from 3-point range (31.6 percent) and were outrebounded 40-20.
Mason Plumlee, Duke’s national player of the year candidate, had his worst night of the season. The 6-10 senior center scored four points and grabbed three rebounds before fouling out.
“I just have to show up,” Plumlee said. “I didn’t show up to play today, and I let my teammates down. That’s not how I’ve played all season. I hope it doesn’t happen again. It’s all on me.”
With Plumlee having an off night, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski gave Josh Hairston and Alex Murphy more playing time in the post. Murphy was on the court for the final 26 seconds after Plumlee fouled out.
“Tonight’s not about rotations or Xs and Os,” Krzyzewski said. “We don’t have any bigs. If Mason’s not playing, we’re just trying to survive. We’ve been trying to survive since Ryan (Kelly) went out (with a foot injury), and Mason’s carried us. Tonight, he wasn’t playing that well.”
Hairston scored a season-high 11 points, while Murphy had four points and a steal in his eight minutes of play.
The Blue Devils (22-3, 9-3) never led the in second half and trailed by 77-67 with 3:39 to play. But, playing their third game in seven days, the Blue Devils found the energy for one final run at the Terrapins.
With Maryland up 80-72, Seth Curry, who led Duke with 25 points, hit 3-pointers on consecutive possessions.
After a Duke timeout, Maryland’s Dez Wells was called for an offensive foul with 38.7 seconds left. Down 80-78, Duke worked the ball to Curry, who had an open look from the free throw line extended. But his shot rattled in and out with 28.2 seconds to play.
“I knew it was in,” Curry said. “I started my backpedal like it was down already, and it just rimmed out on me.”
Maryland’s Jake Layman, after being fouled, hit one of two free throws for an 81-78 Terrapins lead with 26.9 to play.
But at the other end, Layman made a mistake when he fouled Duke’s Rasheed Sulaimon as he attempted a 3-pointer.
Sulaimon sank the first two free throws with 16.7 seconds to play. Maryland called timeout, but Sulaimon stepped up and hit the third to tie the score at 81.
“That was incredible, especially with the timeout,” Krzyzewski said. “They were all right in.”
But Duke couldn’t make the defensive stop to get a good chance to win the game and saw its six-game winning streak end.
Meanwhile, Maryland collected a win that left Turgeon fighting back tears during his postgame news conference. Last Sunday, when the Terrapins lost 80-69 at home to Virginia, Turgeon said some Maryland fans were so harsh toward his family that they left the game early.
After Saturday’s game, the atmosphere was far different.
“I know what it means to our fan base,” Turgeon said. “I want to beat Duke. I want to beat Duke. This means a lot to me.”
NOTES — On the side of the court opposite the Duke bench, a distraught Cook hung his head after missing his final shot as Maryland’s students rushed the court in celebration. Duke’s Todd Zafirovski, a former walk-on, ran over to that side of the court, wrapped Cook in his arms and led him through the bedlam and to the locker room. “Todd came to get me to make sure I didn’t get hit by any students,” Cook said. “Just him being a good teammate.”
Maryland 83, No. 2 Duke 81
Percentages: FG .476, FT .714. 3-Point Goals: 6-19, .316 (Curry 3-7, Cook 2-6, Sulaimon 1-4, Murphy 0-2). Team Rebounds: 3. Blocked Shots: 1 (Thornton). Turnovers: 12 (Cook 5, Mas. Plumlee 2, Curry 2, Murphy, Mar. Plumlee, Hairston). Steals: 12 (Cook 4, Thornton 4, Curry 2, Sulaimon, Murphy).
Percentages: FG .600, FT .735. 3-Point Goals: 4-13, .308 (Faust 1-2, Allen 1-3, Aronhalt 1-3, Layman 1-4, Wells 0-1). Team Rebounds: 2. Blocked Shots: 6 (Len 3, Layman 2, Allen). Turnovers: 26 (Allen 8, Wells 6, Faust 4, Mitchell 3, Len 2, Aronhalt, Layman, Cleare). Steals: 7 (Wells 2, Allen 2, Mitchell 2, Faust).
A—17,950. Officials—Jamie Luckie, Raymond Styons, Brian Dorsey.