Translation: Sure, losing Gray was devastating. But we're so good we could rise above it.
In fact, we're so good we don't care what the experts think.
Beautiful. And Duke people wonder why everyone else in the country thinks they're so smug.
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Still, with or without Gray, it was a strange game for the Terps.
They came out flat in front of a big crowd that was ready to explode. Traffic on Rte. 1 was backed up for hours before the game. And the noise in Comcast at tip-off could have made your ears bleed.
Didn't matter. Unlike the Maryland men's basketball team, which fed off the crowd energy for that 83-81 upset of No. 2 Duke last week, the Terps women seemed strangely lethargic.
Duke jumped on the Terps right away, pushed them around in the paint and led 37-25 at the half. Maryland was 0-for-9 on 3-pointers and kept bombing all night instead of working the ball inside.
The Terps pulled to within eight, 54-46, late in the second half when Thomas (14 points) came alive for tip-in, a put-back and a 10-foot jumper, and junior guard Katie Rutan hit a 3.
But even then you had the sense Maryland didn't have enough energy to finish off Duke this time.
"We became a jump-shooting team," Frese said. "We took too many shots from the perimeter. We settled."
With the win, Duke (26-1, 16-0) clinched the regular-season ACC title for the fourth year in a row.
The Terps, on the other hand, dropped to 22-5 and 13-3 in the conference, tied for second place with North Carolina.
And they left Comcast on Sunday night knowing that for all their brave talk of revenge and redemption and all the rest, they let one get away.
Listen to Kevin Cowherd Tuesdays at 7:20 a.m. on 105.7 The Fan's "The Norris and Davis Show."