COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) -- No last-minute collapse. Not even a
Maryland finally beat Duke at Cole Field House and the venerable
building claimed one more No. 1 victim.
|Maryland's Byron Mouton is mobbed by fans after the Terps toppled No. 1 Duke.|
The third-ranked Terrapins, who had lost four years in a row on
their own floor to the Blue Devils, beat them 87-73 Sunday, the
seventh time a top-ranked team lost in the building that is closing
after this season.
"Every game you play here is special because it's the last year
here," Maryland coach Gary Williams said. "You want to win each
game. The situation makes it special. You don't put special
emphasis on it with your players because what if you lose? You just
get ready to play."
Williams didn't do a good job of selling that attitude to his
"This whole week the coach has been uptight on us about Duke.
Duke this, Duke that," said sophomore Chris Wilcox, who had a
career-high 23 points. "I just feel better for my coach because
Coach wanted this win more than we did."
Cole and Notre Dame's Joyce Athletic Center had been tied with
six No. 1 losses, but the Terrapins (21-3, 11-1 Atlantic Coast
Conference) made sure there was no heartache like last season with
the convincing win.
Last year, the Terrapins lost 98-96 to Duke at home in overtime
when they squandered a 10-point lead with a minute left in
regulation. The Blue Devils won three of four against Maryland last
season, including in the NCAA semifinals, rallying from a 22-point
deficit on the way to the national championship.
"We're only moving about a half-mile and we're still on
campus," Williams said of the $20 million Comcast Center which
will replace the 46-year-old Cole Field House. "Any time you can
beat a No. 1 team like Duke it's a great win. Duke is Duke. They've
earned it. They've been the best team in college basketball. That
makes it special."
Maryland made it almost impossible to blow a lead this time,
going up by 25 points three times, the last at 68-43 with 9:55 to
play, on the way to improving to 12-0 at home this season.
Duke (23-2, 11-2) did get within 11 twice, the last time at
81-70 with 2:09 left.
But Juan Dixon hit a short jumper with 1:47 left and Lonny
Baxter added two free throws 14 seconds later to make it 85-70 and
the party started in Cole.
Dixon had 17 points for Maryland, which continued its best
conference start with its eighth straight win, and Byron Mouton had
"This is the first time we've beaten Duke here since I've been
here and it's a tremendous feeling," said Dixon, one of Maryland's
three senior starters.
Wilcox had 11 rebounds and Baxter had 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Steve Blake had eight points and 13 assists, one off his
career-high and the school record.
Carlos Boozer had 19 points and 12 rebounds for the Blue Devils,
who had won 11 straight since their only loss to Florida State.
Mike Dunleavy added 15 points and 11 rebounds and Jason Williams
had 17 points.
"The team that should have won did win, and they won in
convincing fashion," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "We made a
good run in the end but the game was never in doubt. It was a
winnable game in the last eight minutes but it was too big of a
hump to get over."
In the four games these teams played last season, the eventual
loser led by at least 10 points in each game.
Maryland was up 10-2 within the opening four minutes Sunday, and
the Terrapins' biggest lead of the first half was 31-17 with 4:49
left on a jumper by Dixon.
Duke was within 38-29 at halftime and Maryland's lead was still
nine with 16:39 to play. The Terrapins then went on a 20-4 run for
its first 25-point lead and the crowd of 14,500 had Cole shaking
with every Maryland basket and every Duke miss or turnover. Dixon
had seven points in the run and Wilcox had six.
There was a touch of uneasiness in the building when Duke cut
into the lead with the late run as Maryland had just two field
goals over the final seven minutes, but there was no last-minute
magic for Duke this time.
"We made sure we didn't do the same things we did last year in
the same situation and we got the win," Baxter said.
Blake tied Keith Gatlin atop the Maryland career assist list at
Duke, which won the earlier meeting this season 99-78, hurt
itself at the free throw line, finishing 12-for-24, including
missing four in a row during Maryland's 20-4 run.
A win would have given Duke the best start in school history,
but now this team stays tied with the 1998-99 team at 23-1. The
Blue Devils finish with a 26-21 record at Cole.
"If we played with the same intensity and emotion that we did
in the last 12 minutes it might have been a different story,"
Jason Williams said. "Hopefully, this loss will enable us to