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COLLEGE PARK - Saturday's Duke-Maryland game could very well have been the last one between the Blue Devils and Terrapins as ACC rivals.

If that's the case, the Terps picked a good one to win.

They held on to beat No. 2 Duke 83-81 in a matchup that featured several memorable moments. There were rim-rattling dunks, long-range 3-pointers, clutch free throws, an emotional coach, and a mob scene as many of the 17,950 inside Comcast Center chose to celebrate on the court moments after the victory.

Some Maryland players rejoiced with them, others stayed along the outskirts and signed autographs or posed for pictures with frenzied passers-by.

The bedlam seemed fitting for a team needing a signature win and coming off a self-described disappointing setback six days earlier. Maryland (18-7, 6-6 ACC) responded from its lopsided loss to Virginia by attacking Duke in the post and leaning on a pair of underclassmen in crucial situations.

Sophomore forward Alex Len controlled the paint and outplayed his counterpart, Blue Devils senior Mason Plumlee. Len had 19 points and nine rebounds, and sank seven of eight free throws, while Plumlee finished with four points and three boards before fouling out late in the game. Plumlee came into the game averaging 18.2 points and 10.8 rebounds.

The other Terps standout was freshman guard Seth Allen, who overcame eight turnovers to score 16 points, drive the lane and draw a foul with time running out, and convert two foul shots with 2.8 seconds remaining and the score tied 81-81.

Allen's points gave Maryland the win despite Quinn Cook's 35-footer nearly going in for Duke as time expired.

He was sloppy at times, and seemed lost trying to run the offense, but Allen said he had confidence with the game on the line to make a play. And words of encouragement from Terps coach Mark Turgeon.

"He said just keep playing," Allen said. "He was like, 'That's a big test of your maturity...' I just tried to have amnesia and keep playing the next play every time."

Duke (23-3, 9-3) had won 12 of the last 13 matchups against Maryland and appeared to be done long before the final moments. Maryland led by 10 points with less than four minutes to go, but the Blue Devils turned to senior guard Seth Curry and his 3-point prowess.

Curry hit two 3s on back-to-back possessions to keep it close, with the second one cutting the Terps' lead to 80-78 with 57 seconds to play. Maryland's Jake Layman made one of two free throws 30 seconds later, only to foul Duke freshman Rasheed Sulaimon on a 3-point try at the other end.

Sulaimon made all three to tie the game with 16.7 ticks left on the clock, setting up Maryland's final possession and Allen's heroics.

"He made a lot of plays late," said Turgeon, who watched Allen score five points in the final 3:24. "There was no doubt in my mind he was going to make them."

Turgeon was referring to Allen's free throws and the coach challenged his players this week by having each of them attempt 500 foul shots leading up to Saturday's game. (Allen said he made 427 in practice, good for 85.4 percent.)

Maryland shot 73.5 percent from the line and took 34 shots compared to Duke's 21. The Terrapins also won the rebound battle in a big way, 40-20. Len and sophomore Dez Wells combined for 16 rebounds.

The Terrapins set a season high in turnovers, however, with 26, part of the reason the Blue Devils stayed in the mix. Curry finished with 25 points, a game high, while Cook scored 18 and Suliamon added 16.

Maryland led 35-34 at halftime and stretched that lead to double digits twice in the second half, only to watch Duke whittle it away and have a chance to win at the buzzer.

Both Curry and Cook had shots hit the rim in the final minute, though, and Maryland held on.

Turgeon was hesitant to classify the win as breakthrough, but his voice quavered when he was asked about his emotions in beating Duke in front of the hometown fans.

Clearly, this one mattered a little more to the guy in his second year trying to re-establish Maryland as a contender.

"I told them before the game, 'We don't have to be extraordinary. We just have to play to our level,'" Turgeon said. "We weren't extraordinary all the time, but we played to our level. It's one thing to play Duke close, it's another thing to beat them. And we figured out how to beat them by two. It's a great win for us."

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