The score itself was not indicative of the majority of the play throughout most of the Maryland – Duke matchup. Believe it or not, the Terrapins were actually only ten down with a little over ten minutes left in the game. That, unfortunately, was when the wheels fell off.
The Duke Blue Devils went on a tear in the second half, capitalizing on Maryland’s turnover issues to take down the Terrapins 84-64 Saturday afternoon in Cameron Indoor.
Led in the first half by Rasheed Sulaimon’s five three pointers, the Blue Devils took a nine point lead that they never relinquished the rest of the game. Sulaimon, in his first game featuring these two rival squads, did not disappoint by hitting his first six shots (all three pointers). He finished with 25 points on 6-of-8 shooting from deep, and catapulted the Blue Devils whenever the Terrapins made a slight push.
He wasn’t the only one doing the damage, as Mason Plumlee got the better of Alex Len in their matchup, tossing in 19 points and 7 rebounds on the day. A number of putback shots and dominating dunks got the crowd involved, and ultimately took Maryland out of the game.
It has been said all year, but it’s worth noting yet again that the Maryland Terrapins hurt themselves severely by turning the ball over seven times in the first half, and 14 in the game. Nick Faust and Dez Wells led the charge in that regard, with seven between the two of them, and most leading to transition buckets for the Blue Devils. Wells sloppy ball handling overshadowed an otherwise great game by the sophomore guard, who finished with 13 points, eight rebounds and two blocks. Wells was the best player on the court at times, blocking fast break shots and hitting a clutch three that put the Terrapins within six in the first half.
Faust, meanwhile, failed to muster up much on the offensive end. Nine points on 3-of-12 shooting wasn’t going to cut it against the Blue Devils, and the four turnovers he committed didn’t help his cause much. Faust received a few more minutes thanks to a disciplinary infraction by Seth Allen that kept him out of the first half (per the orders of Mark Turgeon). The Terrapins could have used his shooting in the backcourt, however.
The only other Terrapin to truly impress was big man Charles Mitchell, who had 13 points and 7 rebounds, six of which were on the offensive end. Mitchell proved his worth quickly by outplaying Plumlee and everyone else on the Duke roster. Unfortunately his tenacity and conversion of offensive rebounds into points just couldn’t stop the onslaught Duke put together.
Up 61-51 with only ten minutes to go, the Blue Devils put together numerous runs by Plumlee and Sulaimon that ultimately crushed any hope the Terrapins had of mounting a comeback. The Terrapins eventually lost their will to fight towards the end of the game, and completely pulled away at the end.
The Maryland Terrapins head to Florida State next in hopes of avenging their home loss earlier this year to the Seminoles. Turgeon is going to need to work some magic to get this squad moralized again after this drubbing.