Terps stumped in 73-55 loss at Duke
Terps guard Nick Faust lays the ball in ahead of Dukeforward Miles Plumlee during the first half Saturday at Cameron Indoor Stadium. (Rob Kinnan-US PRESSWIRE / February 11, 2012)
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To Stoglin's left, Terps coach Mark Turgeon gazed at the Cameron Indoor Stadium rafters as if in search of divine inspiration.
The Maryland-Duke series as we know it is ending, and Maryland and its fans will probably miss the history of it all. But the Terps won't look back fondly on Saturday's game, in which No. 10 Duke outmuscled Maryland in a 73-55 victory that saw Stoglin pout after being benched for significant portions after halftime.
They won’t miss how it felt to be pushed around by the Plumlee brothers – Mason and Miles – who combined for 32 rebounds, which was one shy of Maryland’s entire total. Or how it felt to walk off the court as losers to the Blue Devils for the 11th time in 12 meetings.
The Terps (14-10, 4-6 Atlantic Coast Conference) trailed by only four points with 8:46 remaining before giving way – as they have so many times in the recent past – to the Blue Devils’ inside size.
Stoglin found himself on the bench after his shot selection was questioned by Turgeon. The sophomore played 13 minutes after halftime. A widely-retweeted post attributed to Stoglin said “Loved sittin that bench today,” but the tweet was not on his Twitter page later Saturday night and the player was not made available to the media after the game.
A later message on his Twitter page said: "Never tweet after a loss. not a bad dude just frustrated. Love terpnation! My fault."
Once again, it was too many Plumlees for Maryland. Six-foot-10 Mason Plumlee had 23 points in Duke's victory over the Terps last month. On Saturday, it was his same-sized brother, Miles, who wrecked Maryland inside with 13 points and 22 rebounds and had the Crazies chanting his name.
The 22 rebounds were the most under Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and the second-highest total in the NCAA this season.
"To get 22 rebounds in a basketball game is phenomenal, just phenomenal,” Krzyzewski said.
The Terps were outrebounded 48-33 and surrendered 21 offensive boards.
"The Plumlee brothers were dominant,” said Turgeon, who challenged his team to be tougher.
“Their big guys kicked our big guys' tails all day," said Turgeon. "We were right there (trailing) 53-49 and just didn't finish the game. I hate how we do it."
Turgeon — who said his he team has improved in other ways — sounded like a man out of answers about rebounding. He said he has already tried making players run sprints when they don't box out, but it doesn't seem to be working.
In recent seasons, Maryland has struggled to stay close to the Blue Devils (21-4, 8-2 ACC) at Cameron and to rekindle the schools' rivalry. Once Pittsburgh and Syracuse join the ACC, Maryland and Duke will end their routine of meeting twice every season.
As always, the Crazies came equipped with taunts. The Crazies' prep sheet, distributed inside Cameron, said of Maryland freshman Nick Faust: "You'll instantly recognize him because he looks like he's 14."
It was Maryland's first game since losing point guard Pe'Shon Howard for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee he suffered in practice Thursday. Maryland had previously played without Howard in the season's first nine games while he recovered from a broken left foot.
The Terps used Stoglin and Faust (City) at the point during Howard’s first absence. On Saturday, they used those two and others but couldn’t find offensive rhythm.
Duke often brought extra players to meet Stoglin at the perimeter. The sophomore, the ACC’s leading scorer, has habitually struggled against Duke and did so again. He shot 4-for-16 (0-for-6 on 3-pointers).
"They just weren’t going to let Terrell beat them,” Turgeon said. “His shot selection was not great. But he’s carried us (in the past).”
Faust matched his career high with 15 points and had eight rebounds.
Duke had been vulnerable at home this season, having lost its last two conference games (Miami, Florida State) in an arena where it had won 230 of its previous 247 games entering Saturday.
Krzyzewski seemed to vent his frustrations as he walked off the court at the half with his team leading 32-29 after shooting 32.4 percent.
He apparently wanted to make sure not only that his team was intense, but that the fans – who habitually stand up during the game in the student section – did their time-honored duty.
The coach stopped at the student section and bellowed: “We don’t sit! We don’t sit!”
After pulling within four points, Maryland buckled. The Blue Devils soon had the lead back to 59-49 on a pair of free throws and a dunk by Mason Plumlee with 6:38 remaining.
Even when Duke missed – and the Blue Devils only shot 38.5 percent – they often secured the rebound and got second chances.
“The whole game was basically offensive rebounding,” said Maryland senior Sean Mosley.
Said Turgeon: “I’m not sure I’ve ever had a team outrebounded for a season, and I’ve had some bad teams. Toughness, rebounding, execution, shot selection. You guys have heard it. I say it every time.”