The #14 Maryland Terrapins hope to open up their ACC schedule with a bang, as they travel to Durham, N.C to take on the #3 Duke Blue Devils in a highly anticipated televised matchup Thursday evening.
The Lady Terps will be coming into Cameron Indoor Stadium with confidence, having won 12 straight games since their loss against Georgetown, which remains Maryland’s only loss of the season. The Terps lead the ACC in rebounding margin with +16.4, compared to Duke’s +8.6, and are second in the nation in that category.
Maryland is coming off a final tune-up win over Saint Joseph’s in which potential ACC Rookie of the Year Alyssa Thomas scored a careeer-high 22 points. Thomas is the second=leading scorer for the Terps with 12.7 points per game, slightly behind junior Lynetta Kizer with 12.8 per game. Diandra Tchatchouang is the team’s other double digit scorer with 10.6 per game, and has come on strong in the past few games.
Duke, undefeated through 13 games, is coming off a hard fought 54-48 win over #11 Kentucky Tuesday night. The Devils are led by ACC Preseason Player of the Year Jasmine Thomas, who averages 14.2 points per game. They also lead the ACC in three point shooting, hitting on 36% of their shots from beyond the arc.
Yet, outside of that, the Blue Devil do not intimidate, on paper at least. Maryland is ranked higher than Duke in just about every category, from field goal percentage to scoring defense. But, they posses something the Terps will lack all year long; seniors. Duke’s mixture of talent and experience is why they are of the most feared teams in the nation, even if they do not jump out statistically.
Maryland’s Record: (14-1, 0-0 ACC)
Opponent’s Record: (13-0, 0-0 ACC)
Time: 7:00pm ET
Location: Durham, N.C
Coverage: WMUCSports.com. Televised on Raycom via Comcast SportsNet.
Prediction: Last season, in their three matchups against Duke, Maryland suffered three losses by scores of one, two and 12 points. The latter comes from their loss at Cameron last year and while they are certainly more upgraded on the talent end, they are still lacking inexperience. But I see the Terps hanging with the Blue Devils for much of the game before Duke pulls away for a 79-71 win. Alyssa Thomas and Diandra Tchatchouang score in double digits.