The players made their coach proud while handing Duke its most lopsided loss at Maryland's hand in 20 years. With two games left to play at Cole, the Terps are on course to go undefeated at home for the first time since 1995.
Said Blake: "We knew we were going to attack from the beginning and play our game."
And so Maryland did, while forcing 18 turnovers, running their fast break smoothly and breaking down the Blue Devils in their half-court sets.
The Terps scored the game's first six points, used an 11-0 run to go on top 27-14, then absorbed a 9-3 Duke run and were protecting a 36-29 advantage in the closing seconds of the first half, when a telling moment occurred. As the Blue Devils were setting up for the last shot, Williams turned his back on Blake while trying to hear instructions from Krzyzewski. Blake stole the ball and scored a layup to give Maryland a 38-29 halftime lead.
With Baxter and Wilcox dominating early, the Terps began to pull away in the second half. Dixon made back-to-back shots to make it 62-39. Wilcox sank two free throws to make it 64-39 with 10:42 left. The crowd roared in disbelief.
The Blue Devils charged back, first with a 9-0 run sparked by Williams that cut Maryland's lead to 69-54, then with a 9-3 run capped by four straight points from Boozer to cut it to 79-68 with 2:39 left. Maryland staggered briefly in the face of Duke's full-court press, but the Terps iced the game by making their last six free throws.
"Their program is on the rise, and they were really into it," Dunleavy said. "Maybe we overlooked them."
Now, the Terps must come down from the highest high and hit the road to play Clemson on Wednesday night.
"We have to be mature in the next 48 hours," said Terps guard Drew Nicholas, who hit two late foul shots to keep Duke at bay. "We'd like to celebrate this for a week, but that's not the case."
NOTE: Maryland rose to No. 2 in this week's USA Today/ESPN coaches poll later yesterday, behind just Kansas. Duke fell from the top spot to No. 3. With nine first-place votes, the Terps earned 748 points, compared to Kansas' 21 first-place votes and 763 points.
Duke Min FG FT Reb A F Pt
Jones 25 1-8 3-4 5 2 4 5
Dunleavy 33 5-14 2-6 11 0 5 15
Boozer 36 8-10 3-5 12 3 3 19
Duhon 38 3-12 0-0 2 7 2 7
Williams 39 6-22 3-6 6 4 1 17
Horvath 10 1-1 0-0 2 0 3 2
Ewing 19 3-8 1-3 3 1 2 8