No. 8 Maryland Women Fall To No. 7 Duke, 84-63
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Alyssa Thomas ran out of chances to win at Cameron Indoor Stadium. So did No. 8 Maryland.
The Big Ten-bound Terrapins struggled at both ends of the court against No. 7 Duke, losing 84-61 on Monday night in the final scheduled meeting between the rivals.
“I’m definitely going to miss seeing Maryland and Duke play,” Thomas said, “but I’m sure they’ll meet up again.”
Thomas, a senior, lost all four of her visits to Duke while Maryland was denied its first victory at Cameron since 2008.
The Blue Devils won this one with defense: Elizabeth Williams had 17 points and 11 rebounds, and blocked three shots while taking “more elbows than an overworked plumber,” coach Joanne P. McCallie said.
Duke became just the fifth team to outrebound Maryland, establishing a 44-37 advantage on the boards, and held the Terrapins to a season-worst 32 percent shooting.
“I can’t remember the last time we had a full, 40-minute defensive effort” like this, Williams said.
Thomas had 14 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists for Maryland (20-5, 8-4 ACC).
She missed eight of her first nine shots, but managed to make three in a row to help the Terrapins close to 53-48 with just under 11 minutes remaining.
Duke followed with three straight 3s — one by Tricia Liston, two by Jones. Liston added two free throws to make it 64-48 with 8:17 left.
Maryland didn’t get closer than 11 after that.
“We got hesitant with our shot,” coach Brenda Frese said. “Too many players thinking about their shot when it wasn’t falling in, and obviously, when you score 63 points on the road, you’re not going to win a lot of games. … You’ve got to be able to solve something at one end of the floor or the other.”
Freshman Lexie Brown had 13 points and Alicia DeVaughn added 10 for the Terrapins, whose final scheduled game at Cameron came two nights after their men’s team bid farewell to the famously hostile arena.
Unlike that matchup — in which coach Mark Turgeon was serenaded with “Sweat, Gary, Sweat” chants not heard since Gary Williams retired three years ago — there was noticeably less venom in this one.
“It wasn’t as loud as I thought it would be, but definitely, the atmosphere was great,” Brown said. “But I did let the crowd and Duke get in my head a little bit.”
Alexis Jones had a season-best 22 points, including a career-high five 3-pointers, for the Blue Devils (23-3, 10-2), who shot 53 percent.
Duke avoided its first consecutive losses since 2007-08 and dodged its first three-game home slide in more than two decades. Richa Jackson had 19 points and Liston finished with 12.
The 2008 game against Maryland stood as the Blue Devils’ most recent ACC home loss until No. 2 Notre Dame blew them out earlier this month and rival North Carolina did the same a week earlier. This was Duke’s first game since then.
“When you don’t do something you want to do, and you have a week to think about it … we had to kind of suffer and handle the comments and handle how we felt about things,” McCallie said. “And I think it’s made us stronger.”
The Blue Devils had lost a measure of their swagger lately during their first two-game losing streak at Cameron since 1994.
And defense was the culprit: They allowed at least 83 points in each of their three double-digit home losses, including 89 to the Tar Heels last time out.
That prompted McCallie to say after that loss that “defense is something that this team generally wants other people to do.”
The Blue Devils had a week off to stew about that, and in the first half, they held Thomas — the two-time ACC player of the year — to three points on 1-of-7 shooting.
“The defense was back,” McCallie said.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)