Duke proves its resilience
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- The moment was made for an end-of-the-game
Unfortunately for the enthusiastic Osby and thundering crowd, there were still 20 minutes left to play.
And someone forgot to remind Osby and the Terps that the fourth-ranked Blue Devils never lose easily, even if Maryland had won five of the last seven matchups coming into the game.
Duke came out of the locker room and quickly narrowed the lead to three in the first four minutes of the second half. Seven minutes in, senior
Maryland made poor decisions on fast breaks and tried to force lob passes to Osby and Gist in an effort to exploit its height advantage that had helped build a first-half lead. The result was 22 turnovers by the Terps, while their opponents finished with 10 -- including just four in the decisive second half.
"We were in a rush, we were in a rush" said Osby, who had five of those giveaways, shaking his head in the locker room. "But I don't know why. We were winning."
The Terps had good reason to try to keep feeding Osby and Gist -- after nabbing some crowd-dazzling dunks in the first half, the two combined for 20 points in the second. But in the end, it wasn't enough to overcome the more poised and aggressive Duke squad, whose rubber-band tight defense and depth carried them to its first victory over the Terps since 2005.
"A lot of my friends always wanted to go to Maryland. But I had a big crowd out here and I had to represent," Smith said. "I've always kinda been a Duke fan."
The Terps will see the Blue Devils again on Feb. 13.
"It's an emotional game for everyone," said Gist. "I already have it circled on my calendar."
And Duke, with its own clever-T-shirt-wearing crowd at Cameron, will be waiting.