DURHAM, N.C. -- Just short.
Dez Wells took two dribbles to his right, stopped, shrugged off his defender and pulled up for a jumper just below the foul line.
After a display of sheer second-half dominance in which he scored 17 points in just over 11 minutes, it seemed destined to go in.
Wells' jumper came off a half-inch too soft, bouncing off the front rim and falling into the arms of Duke forward Jabari Parker with 59 seconds left on the clock.
Fast forward 54 seconds later. Charles Mitchell is sprawled out on the floor of Cameron Indoor Stadium after his game-winning shot attempt rolled off the right side of the rim, giving Duke a 69-67 win over Maryland in what may have been the Terps' gutsiest performances of the season.
Just short of a thrilling buzzer-beater to cap off one of the most physical and hard-fought games of the ACC season.
Just short of a storybook ending to one of the nation's oldest and most storied rivalries.
"I can't be more proud of my guys," head coach Mark Turgeon said in his postgame press conference as he spoke with a mix of disappointment, shock and pride. "And I hope every Maryland fan feels the same way…our guys gave it all they had."
"We played tonight for Maryland," Turgeon added. "We played for all former coaches, all former players, all former students."
Jake Layman finished with 18 points and six rebounds, including 12 points in the first half to keep Maryland within striking distance of Duke's early lead.
Wells was dominant in the second half, scoring all of his 17 points in the final 12 minutes of the game. The junior wing shot 7-of-10 in the second half, including a stretch in which he scored 10 of Maryland's 12 points and accounted for the other two with an assist to Layman in transition.
"I don't know if you ever ‘deserve' to win," Turgeon said, "but I felt that our kids deserved a better fate than that at the end."
The Terps had their hands full with Parker, the superstar freshman whose highlight reel slam ended up being the game-winning basket for the Blue Devils.
Parker finished with 23 points and eight rebounds. Rodney Hood and Rasheed Sulaimon each added 11 points for the Blue Devils, while Jefferson had seven points and 12 boards.
"We beat a real gutty team today," Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said, acknowledging that he will "miss" having Maryland in the league.
And with both head coaches agreeing that they would miss the intensity and hostility that the rivalry has brought over the years, it was only fitting that the game ended in such dramatic fashion in one of college basketball's most historic settings.
"I'm gonna miss it like crazy," Turgeon said. "What a great place to come play...that was fun."
"That was vintage Cameron," Krzyzewski said. "That was one for the ages."
Maryland Comes Up Just Short Against Duke
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