Browne sends Duke women over Terps

Senior scores 21 points, leads Devils to 79-61 win

January 04, 2000|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK -- Duke coach Gail Goestenkors called Peppi Browne "the best defensive player in the country" last night after the 14th-ranked Blue Devils ran away from the Maryland women in the final six minutes for a 79-61 Atlantic Coast Conference victory at Cole Field House.

But it was an offensive show by Browne last night that left Maryland coach Chris Weller and her players shaking their heads.

Browne shot down the hustling Terps with 21 points, 11 rebounds and five assists in an all-around show that Weller called a "real All-America performance."

"Peppi was going to the boards and doing a little of everything," Weller said. "She caused us a lot of matchup problems. We tried to stop her by posting her up and getting her in foul trouble but it didn't work. We didn't get the calls we wanted."

Browne, who lives in Silver Spring and played at Montgomery Blair, was cruising along offensively until the final four minutes of the game.

That's when the 5-foot-11 senior wing scored seven straight points in the next 1: 36 to shove Duke (13-1, 2-0) ahead 73-57.

Browne began the game-breaking spurt when she drove the baseline for a layup, got fouled and completed a three-point play. She came right back with a 15-foot jumper for a 71-56 lead, and then, following a free throw by Maryland's Cara Ferris, Browne drove the lane for a layup and a 73-57 advantage.

As usual in College Park, Browne had her own cheering section, but said she is used to the local attention.

"I don't come here trying to do anything special or prove anything," Browne said. "This is always a tough place to play and Maryland gave us a lot of trouble for a long while in this game."

The Terps (8-4, 0-2) had last year's NCAA second-place team (Duke lost to Purdue in the final) on the ropes with a little more than six minutes left in the game, trailing only 60-56.

But some ill-advised shots by Deedee Warley and Marche Strickland prevented Maryland from getting any closer than four points and Duke responded with an 11-0 run for a 71-56 lead.

One of the highlights of the night for Maryland was an outstanding effort off the bench by freshman Terri Daniels (St. Mary's), who scored five key points in the first half when the home team rallied to close the gap to 35-31 at halftime.

Daniels hit a three-point shot, a driving layup and contributed a big assist in the first half and finished with five points, one steal, one assist and no turnovers in 19 minutes.

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