Terps and Blue Devils square off in pivotal ACC clash
Durham, NC (Sports Network) – The surging Maryland Terrapins have earned the
24th spot in this week’s AP poll, and they will attempt to upset the 14th-
ranked Duke Blue Devils this evening in ACC action.
Maryland began its five-game run with a 72-60 decision over Duke in College
Park, and the most recent win for the Terps was a thrilling 89-87 triumph
over national powerhouse North Carolina on Sunday. At 22-7 overall, including
8-6 in league play, it appears that the Terps have earned a spot in the
upcoming NCAA Tournament, although a victory this evening would help for
Duke is riding a winning streak of its own, as the team has put together four
straight victories, including a 67-50 road romp over St. John’s in non-league
play on Sunday. The Blue Devils own the exact same overall and league records
as the Terps, and they are a solid 15-3 at home this season.
Despite the loss to Maryland a few weeks ago, Duke still owns a commanding
101-59 advantage in the series between the two teams.
Maryland’s D.J. Strawberry poured in 27 points on 12-of-18 shooting from the
field to lead his team over North Carolina on Sunday. On the strength of that
effort, Strawberry garnered ACC Player of the Week honors. Mike Jones posted 18
points, and James Gist contributed 12 points and nine rebounds. Bambale Osby
netted 11 points and pulled down nine boards in a reserve role, and the Terps
got 10 points and six assists from Greivis Vasquez. Maryland earned a 46-33
rebounding advantage as well as a 20-8 edge in points from the foul line.
Strawberry is scoring a team-high 15.1 ppg this season, and he has dished out
103 assists to go along with 61 steals. With four more players posting at least
10.0 ppg, Maryland has plenty of options at the offensive end. The Terps have
forced more than 500 turnovers, helping to offset their own sloppiness.
Strong defense was the key for Duke in the victory over St. John’s on Sunday,
as the Red Storm were only able to shoot 34 percent from the floor, including
25 percent from behind the arc. The Blue Devils knocked down 6-of-12 three-
pointers and earned a 21-12 edge in points from the foul line. Greg Paulus
stole the show for Duke by nailing 5-of-7 shots from long range en route to 19
points. DeMarcus Nelson tallied 14 points, while Jon Scheyer pitched in 11
points. Nelson is averaging 14.0 ppg on 49.7 percent shooting from the field,
and Josh McRoberts is close behind with 13.1 ppg and 7.9 rpg. Scheyer, although
just a freshman, adds 12.3 ppg to the lineup, and Paulus rounds out a quartet
of double-digit scorers with 10.1 ppg and 105 assists. Defensively, Duke is
limiting opponents to just 59.1 ppg overall on 40.9 percent shooting.