Terps Comeback Falls Short at Duke

Despite 26 points from Alyssa Thomas, the Terps fell on the road to Duke 80-72.

In their biggest game of the season to date, the No. 7/8 Maryland Terrapins fell on the road to the No. 5 Duke Blue Devils, 80-72. Alyssa Thomas led the Terps with a game-high 26 points and tried to lead a valiant comeback attempt, but the Terps just could not get over the hump.

Maryland had their chances in the second half despite going down by 12 with 13 minutes to play. A 10-2 run fueled by two three-pointers by Alyssa Thomas cut the deficit to four, and the Terps looked on the verge of tying the game. They continued to battle, and a lay-up by Lynetta Kizer brought them within three with just over six minutes to play.

After Duke went back up by six, Kizer again cut into the lead with a lay-up that made it 74-70 with 2:27 to go. After two missed Blue Devils shots, the Terrapins got the ball back with a chance to make it a one-possession game, but Anjale Barrett missed a three and Duke grabbed the critical rebound.

From there the Terps were forced to foul, and Duke would extend their lead on free throws before the eventual 80-72 victory.

For much of the game, Thomas - whose 26 points tied her career-high - looked like she could not be stopped. The sophomore played all 40 minutes and even made two three-pointers in a game for the first time in her career. She also led her team on the glass, grabbing 10 rebounds, and added four steals and three assists. However, she was held scoreless over the final 7:22, and Maryland as a whole would only manage ten points over that span.

The Terrapins were uncharacteristically quiet on the boards, managing just 27 rebounds - a season low. The Blue Devils, meanwhile, had 35. After her 24-rebound outburst on Thursday night, Tianna Hawkins was held to just four today, and fellow post-players Alicia DeVaughn and Lynetta Kizer had just four rebounds combined. It was a very notable part of Maryland's game missing, as Duke battled the Terps in the paint all day.

Hawkins scored 17 points and Kizer added 12, but it was not enough to stop the Blue Devils, who received terrific play from their point guard, Chelsea Gray. Gray hit a huge three-pointer that put her team up by six with three minutes left, and finished with 17 plus 11 assists for the game. Haley Peters, who had 21 points and missed just two of her 12 field-goal attempts, led Duke in scoring.

After shooting 54.5% in the first half, the Terrapins were held to just 36.4% in the second half - a key difference. Maryland trailed by just one at halftime, but opened the latter half ice cold, scoring just two points in the first six and a half minutes to allow Duke to build the 12-point lead.

Maryland will next look to bounce back when they host Virginia Tech on Thursday night. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

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