The #14-ranked Maryland Terrapins failed to capture their 13th straight victory Thursday evening, falling to #3 Duke 71-64 in the ACC opener for both teams.
Maryland (14-2,0-1 ACC) put themselves in great position to pull an upset in Durham, getting huge games from Kim Rodgers, who scored 18 points, and Diandra Tchatchouang, who contributed 14 points and nine boards. The Terps also got an outstanding game from freshman Alyssa Thomas, recording a double double of 11 points and 12 rebounds.
The Terps came out strong in the first half, taking a 22-13 lead off successive Kim Rodgers 3-pointers with over 12 minutes to go. But Duke responded with a 12-2 run of their own that helped them re-tie the game at 27. Maryland took the momentum into the locker room after a Lynetta Kizer hook shot at the buzzer put them up 33-29.
Jasmine Thomas, the Blue Devils’ (15-0, 1-0 ACC) leading scorer and a leader for the ACC Player of the Year award, led both teams with 22 points. Fellow senior Krystal Thomas scored eight points with 10 boards.
The second half remained tighter than the first, with neither team taking a lead bigger than four until the final minutes, and the half included six ties and three lead changes. Yet, while the senior leadership on the Duke sideline gave them a slight advantage over the young Terps, it was a freshman Blue Devil who made the play of the game.
Maryland, down 63-60, had the ball stolen with 51 seconds on the clock by freshman Chelsea Gray for an easy layup. The Lady Terps couldn’t recover from their costly turnover as Duke sealed up their fourth win over a ranked team.
Maryland hopes to rebound when they return home to Comcast Center to take on the Boston College Eagles Jan. 13, Thursday at 7pm.
Player of the Game: Kim Rodgers played one of her best games of the year, helping Maryland almost pull off the upset. She scored 18 points including 3-7 from behind the arch. Rodgers also chipped in two boards and assists.