Duke runs past UM

January 18, 2002

DURHAM, N.C. - Duke threw its trademark defense and the superb tandem of guard Jason Williams and forward Mike Dunleavy at Maryland last night, and the Terps were unable to answer after battling the Blue Devils basket for basket.

Top-ranked Duke turned a tense, much-anticipated Atlantic Coast Conference contest into a 99-78 rout over No. 3 Maryland before a sellout crowd at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Terps, who were too sloppy with the ball down the stretch and suffered with an off night from star senior guard Juan Dixon, were unable to stay with the Blue Devils in the final 20 minutes after taking a 49-48 lead into halftime.

Williams had a game-high 34 points, while Dunleavy scored 19 of his 21 points in the second half, as the Blue Devils put together a game-ending 26-8 run after Maryland pulled within 73-70 with 10:28 to go. The Terps went without a field goal for nearly the final eight minutes.

Maryland (13-3, 3-1), which ended a five-game winning streak and was denied a chance to win its third straight game at Cameron, fell apart in crunch time by committing a slew of its 21 turnovers. Dixon, guarded mostly by Duke forward Dahntay Jones, scored a season-low 10 points on 2-for-9 shooting. Dunleavy led all players with seven steals.

It was a deceptive finish to a game that featured 30 lead changes. Lonny Baxter led the Terps with 24 points and eight rebounds. Chris Wilcox had 14 points and seven rebounds. Duke center Carlos Boozer finished with 20 points.

Behind Williams, the Blue Devils (15-1, 4-1) used a 17-6 run over a five-minute stretch to take a 73-63 lead with 12:33 left in the contest. Williams scored nine points during that run. His three-point play made it 71-63, and a tip-in by Matt Christensen gave Duke a 73-63 advantage, which accounted for the biggest lead of the game at the 12:33 mark.

Maryland had closed the gap to 73-70 with a 7-0 run, finished by a 12-footer by Drew Nicholas (12 points). But the Terps were unable to generate much offense after that.

After the Blue Devils opened by scoring the game's first five points, the first half turned into a terrific shooting contest marked by constant lead changes.

Over the game's first four minutes, five Maryland players scored, as the Terps hit five of their first six shots. Duke, meanwhile, made seven of its first 10 attempts while taking a 16-15 lead with 15:45 left in the half.

Williams scored nine of the Blue Devils' first 16 points, most of them on drives through the lane. Maryland answered Duke's opening run with six unanswered points, capped by Dixon's three-pointer from the left corner to give Maryland a 6-5 lead.

From there, the lead would change hands 24 more times in the half, and the Terps would match the Blue Devils despite a quiet start by Dixon, who managed only six points by the break.

Williams' third driving layup of the game gave the Blue Devils a 13-12 lead with 16:40 left. Blake then answered with an off-balance three-pointer to give Maryland a 15-13 lead, but Williams came right back with a fast-break drive and layup, then converted a three-point play to put Duke on top once again.

Maryland, which worked the ball inside efficiently for much of the half to Baxter, Wilcox and backup center Ryan Randle, also got a lift from Byron Mouton. His pull-up, 15-footer in the lane put the Terps on top 21-20. After Daniel Ewing put Duke back on top with a 15-foot baseline jumper, Baxter - who led the team with 11 first-half points - hit a free throw to forge a 22-22 tie with 12:28 to go.

The Blue Devils, behind Williams and Boozer, then put together the best run of the half, a 13-5 spurt, to open up some breathing room. Once again, Williams was at the heart of the surge. His driving layup started the run. His put-back off of his own missed shot made it 31-24 with 10:18 to go. And after Baxter made a free throw and the Terps' Steve Blake banked in a 12-foot runner to cut the margin to 33-27, Williams made a 12-foot jumper to give the Blue Devils their largest lead at 35-27 with just under nine minutes left.

But Maryland, getting big contributions from Randle and Nicholas down the stretch, refused to go away. Wilcox and Dixon started the Maryland rally by combining on a 7-0 run to give the Terps a 36-35 lead with 6:20 left. Wilcox threw down a 12-footer to complete the run.

Nicholas then made his presence felt by scoring six Maryland points in a row. He grabbed an offensive rebound and converted a difficult six-footer, made a pair of free throws, then drove through the Duke zone defense for a layup to give Maryland a 42-41 lead with 3:22 to go.

At that point, there had been two ties and 20 lead changes, and still it went on. Boozer hit two free throws to put Duke back in front. Then Randle made a short jumper and converted a three-point play, giving Maryland a 45-43 lead. No matter. Jones made a three-pointer to put Duke back on top 46-45 with 1:05 to go.

Randle, who scored the last seven points of the half for Maryland, turned an offensive rebound into a layup to make it 47-46 in Maryland's favor. Randle then turned a perfect feed from Dixon into a layup and a 49-46 lead. But Jones sent the home crowd into delirium by banking in a 10-footer at the buzzer to trim Maryland's halftime lead to 49-48.

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