It was the first time the Blue Devils had trailed at the half all season, and with the passionate fans at the Comcast Center fueling their team it seemed as though Duke was in trouble. So much so that even head coach Mike Krzyzewski had earned his first technical foul of the season.
However, Krzyzewski's team began a furious rally from the outset of the second half by scoring three straight baskets before Kyle Singler knocked down a three pointer with 12:12 remaining to give Duke a 64-63 lead. After trading baskets, a pair of free throws by DeMarcus Nelson made it 71-69 with 8:36 remaining; and Duke would not trail again.
Nelson finished with a career high 27 points, seven rebounds, and four assists for Duke while Gerald Henderson added 23 points and five rebounds. But the biggest spark was the play of freshman guard Nolan Smith who added 14 points, and six rebounds in 21 minutes of action.
The victory keeps Duke perfect in league play at 5-0, and drops the Terrapins to 2-3 in the ACC and 12-8 overall.
Maryland was led by big forward James Gist who had 26 points and 5 rebounds, and Bambale Osby who added 20 points and 15 rebounds.