for this game

Big start helps Maryland extend struggles for Duke

Feb 12, 2007 - 3:27 AM COLLEGE PARK, Maryland (Ticker) -- Surprisingly, James Gist and Maryland wanted the victory more than struggling Duke.

Gist scored 10 of his 16 points in the first 20 minutes as the Terrapins used a big first half to post a 72-60 Atlantic Coast Conference victory and hand the No. 16 Blue Devils their fourth straight loss.

It is the longest losing streak for Duke since dropping four straight games to open the 1995-96 ACC schedule.

"Of the four games we've lost, three we had a chance to win," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "The game is not an easy game and when you lose you don't look at it as you played well - you lost. That's the way it's recorded and that's the way it is."

"It doesn't feel good," Blue Devils point guard Greg Paulus said. "It's not panic mode, but we have to get better. We're not playing well enough. It's that simple."

Duke, which last lost five games in a row in 1994-95, will remain on the road at Boston College on Wednesday. The Eagles remained in a tie for first place in the ACC with North Carolina at 8-2 on Sunday after posting a 68-67 win at Florida State.

Freshman Greivis Vasquez had a season-high 18 points and Ekene Ibekwe added 13 for Maryland (18-7, 4-6 ACC), which boosted its hopes of an NCAA Tournament bid by beating its second ranked team in three games.

"I'm happy that we beat Duke, but we have to come out on Wednesday (at North Carolina State)," Vasquez said. "This is not the end of our season. We have to keep playing hard and keep coming focused."

Although Duke (18-7, 5-6) faced its longest losing streak in 11 years, it was Maryland that started the game with more intensity.

"That was a players' win," Maryland coach Gary Williams said. "They came out with great intensity. We played hard the last couple of days in practice and the players really responded well to that."

After the Blue Devils scored the first five points of the game, the Terrapins charged back with a 19-2 run, grabbing a 19-7 lead on a jumper by Eric Hayes with 12:39 remaining.

"We knew we were going to have to come out and play hard if we wanted to get this win, and we came out with a lot of intensity," Maryland guard D.J. Strawberry said. "We knew that it would be better to make them match our intensity than the other way around, so we made sure to get out to a good start."

That advantage continued to balloon as Maryland added a 10-0 burst after a jumper by Paulus, pulling ahead, 29-9, after Strawberry grabbed a long rebound in the defensive end and raced down the court for a dunk with 8:54 to play.

"They played with amazing energy, especially at the start of the game," Krzyzewski said. "Our team hasn't experienced that level of energy and it knocked us back to where we were down by 20 points."

That would be the largest lead of the game for the Terrapins, who held a 40-28 advantage at intermission and 48-36 edge with 15:54 left in the second half following a dunk by Gist.

Although top scorer DeMarcus Nelson was limited to just 20 minutes with foul troubles, the Blue Devils chipped away at the deficit, closing within 56-50 on a dunk by Josh McRoberts with 9:54 left.

That would be the closest they would get as the Blue Devils had two turnovers and a missed jumper by Paulus in their next three possessions.

"In the second half, we played better and got it down to six," Krzyzewski said. "But we had three empty possessions and couldn't get closer."

Meanwhile, Vasquez converted a layup with 8:23 to play and Gist's jumper about 2 1/2 minutes later rebuilt the lead back up to 62-52.

"We didn't do anything differently," Strawberry said about withstanding Duke's run. "We just kept doing what got us the lead in the first place. We knew that we had to handle their pressure a little better, and run our plays like we had earlier."

Gist finished 7-of-10 from the field and grabbed 10 rebounds for Maryland, which beat Duke for the fourth time in the last six meetings.

McRoberts scored 20 points and Paulus added 12 for the Blue Devils. Paulus also had seven of Duke's 17 turnovers, which Maryland converted into 21 points.

After picking up three fouls in the opening seven minutes of the first half, Nelson played hesitantly the remainder of the game, finishing with just eight points - six short of his season average.

"We were on the road playing a tough team in their environment," Nelson said. "The environment was amazing, and we didn't do a good job playing in it. They came out with a really big surge and they played with more energy. For 40 minutes they outplayed us."

    --- --- -----
    DUKE (16) 28 32 60
    MARYLAND 40 32 72 FINAL

    Feb 11 7:01 PM

    DUKE (16) 28

    Feb 11 5:59 PM
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    Duke vs. MarylandFeb 11 5:59 PM
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