Maryland Falls to Duke, 68-65
Jan. 12, 2009
With 8:49 to play, Marissa Coleman lay on the floor of Cameron Indoor Stadium, her left leg cramping in pain. Maryland was already down one starter, as Marah Strickland remained in College Park with an illness, and was facing a five-point deficit without one of their senior leaders.
Six-and-a-half minutes later, Coleman sprinted out of the locker room and to the scorers' table to check back in. Maryland was far from dead. In fact, they had cut the deficit by a bucket to three points.
There was no questioning the fight in the Terrapins on Monday night at Duke, but in the end, the Terps fell, 68-65, dropping their first ACC game of the year.
Marissa Coleman wound up with a team-leading 14 points. Freshman Lynetta Kizer had a double-double, pouring in 12 while pulling down 13 rebounds, but in the end it was not enough to overcome an 11-point halftime deficit.
Down 40-29 at the intermission, Maryland (13-3, 1-1) came alive in the second half. The Terps hit seven of their nine three-pointers in the second period, led by three treys by senior Sa'de Wiley-Gatewood. Redshirt freshman Anjale Barrett added six of her 10 points from beyond the arc in the second half.
Meanwhile Kristi Toliver, who was held scoreless in the opening period, caught fire late in the second half. The senior All-American dropped 10 points in the second half and, in a scene reminiscent of the 2006 National Championship Game, had a look at a three-pointer with the clock running down that would have given Maryland a one-point lead. Unlike that shot in Boston, though, this one swept across the rim and came out, as the Terps' comeback attempt came up just short.
Wiley-Gatewood stepped into the starting lineup for Strickland and performed well, pestering Duke's shooters and keeping the Blue Devils from running away with the game even though they pulled down 26 offensive rebounds. All nine of her points came in the second half.
In the first half, it was Coleman who kept the Terps in the game. Hitting twice from long range, Coleman poured in eight points and swiped three Blue Devil passes. Coleman had six points in the second half, including a layup with a minute to go which pulled Maryland back within two points.
Unfortunately, Maryland could not quite overcome Duke on this night. Nevertheless, the heart and determination with which they played, down two starters for long stretches of the contest, is something the Terps can build on.
"We look at this almost like a win," head coach Brenda Frese said afterwards. "The way that the team fought and battled in the second half makes me very proud of this team."