Terps blown out by Blue Devils

Vasquez scores 17 as Maryland falls in Krzyzewski's 1,000th game at Duke

February 14, 2010|By Jeff Barker | jeff.barker@baltsun.com

DURHAM, N.C. — - So many of the architects of the long-standing Maryland-Duke rivalry were in attendance Saturday at Cameron Indoor Stadium. There was former Terrapins coach Lefty Driesell and former Duke player J.J. Redick, a Maryland nemesis.

There was current Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, who was celebrating his 1,000th game at Duke and his 63rd birthday. And there was Maryland coach Gary Williams, whose Terrapins were unable to use Saturday's game to revive the rivalry, which has turned one-sided the past few seasons.

No. 8 Duke's 77-56 victory was its sixth straight over the Terrapins, and this one stung more than most because it was for first place in the Atlantic Coast Conference. "Not our rivals," the Duke students chanted as they had last season, when the Blue Devils won by 41 points.

Like last year, Maryland (16-7, 6-3 ACC) was undone by the size and inside-out offensive balance of Duke (21-4, 9-2), which is now unbeaten in 14 home games this season. The Blue Devils had 20 offensive rebounds.

Once, Maryland's chief adversary had been Redick, the Orlando Magic guard who returned to the arena Saturday along with dozens of other ex-Blue Devils to honor their former coach at his milestone game.

On Saturday, Maryland's principal antagonist was more unlikely - a 7-foot-1 center who entered averaging just 4.9 points. Senior Brian Zoubek had not been a starter this season until Saturday.

But Zoubek - the fans spent much of the game chanting his name - had 16 points and a career-high 17 rebounds, and seemed perpetually to be following his teammates' misses with putbacks. Zoubek called it "definitely" the best game of his career.

"They're bigger than we are - not to be smart," Williams said in responding to a question about surrendering 20 second-chance points. "We've been able to rebound against the Florida States and Wake Forests, which are also big front lines, but we just couldn't do it today."

Maryland players said they can't afford to sulk over the loss, not when they are about to host a Virginia team Monday that is much improved over last season. The Duke game began a string of three games in five days for Maryland, whose schedule was altered by last week's weather-related postponement of the Virginia contest.

"We've got a big game Monday at home, and we'll see [Duke] again," Maryland guard Greivis Vasquez said. "We've got three seniors, so we know how to handle this. We lost by 41 last year and still got into the [ NCAA] tournament."

As usual, the Duke fans sought to engage the animated Vasquez with chants and signs. "Don't cry Greivis," said one banner picturing a single tear.

The fans also sang "Happy Birthday" to Krzyzewski, who said his birthday and 1,000th Duke game were secondary to beating the Terps.

Among those watching was Driesell, who played at Duke and traveled here because it is Cameron's 70th anniversary and because his son, Chuck, is a Maryland assistant coach.

Vasquez had just two points in a first half that ended with Duke ahead 40-24. He finished with 17 points and sparked a second-half comeback that saw the Terps, who trailed by 24 points, pull within 54-44. Vasquez scored 10 Maryland points in a row in one second-half stretch.

But Maryland - hurt by a Duke defense that came out high to defend Vasquez and the other guards - couldn't cut the deficit to single digits. The Blue Devils' defense seemed to push the Terps out of their comfort zone.

"We try to just make good players like Vasquez do things they're not comfortable with - just speed him up, small things," said Duke junior Kyle Singler (10 points, six rebounds).

Duke travels to Maryland on March 3 for "Senior Night" - the final game for Vasquez and fellow seniors Landon Milbourne and Eric Hayes.

Maryland hopes the game will supply needed balance to a rivalry that the Terps are eager to restore.

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