As if losing to Miami and ending a 48 game home winning streak on a last second shot wasn't heart-wrenching enough, the Lady Terps dropped another close one tonight, falling to #6 Duke by 1. The Terps have owned the Blue Devils in Comcast the last few years and at times, it looked like they were going to do it again tonight. But in what is becoming the achilles' heal for this team, missed free throws again doomed the Terps. They shot an obismal 9/17 from the charity stripe. When you're playing a team as good as Duke, you need to play your game and execute the easier aspects of the game. You're not going to win most of the time when you leave 8 points at the line and also turn the ball over 19 times. The fact that the game was close shows how hard this team can fight and claw. If they could just sure up their fundamentals, watch out.
The crowd at the Comcastle was over 10,000 strong. That might not seem significant, but when you step back and look at attendance numbers for women's basketball nationwide, the Terps are top ten in that category and own I believe the top three ACC single game attendance records for Women's basketball.
More on the game after the jump
The game itself was very good, aside from the final outcome. The Terps came back from being down in the first half and in the second half, after being down 11, again came back.
Just when it looked like Duke might pull away, the Terps turned to their sole senior leader, who quickly got them back into the game. On an inbound play, Lori Bjork was able to shake her defender and nailed a quick three pointer from the corner, right in front of the Maryland bench. The basket cut the Duke lead down to eight and reenergized the crowd, who quickly began chants of "Defense!" as the Blue Devils inbounded the ball and brought it up court. After two failed field goal attempts by Duke, one of which was blocked by Diandra Tchatchouang, Anjale Barrett again found Lori Bjork in the same corner spot in front of the Maryland bench and again the senior nailed another three pointer, bring the crowd to their feet as the arena exploded into applause and cheers. On Duke’s ensuing possession, a missed shot by Joy Cheek allowed Bjork to grab the rebound and a few second later Tianna Hawkins made a layup to cut the Duke lead down to three.
Among those in attendance were Dino Gregory and Jordan Williams. Both were sporting athletic jump suits and Dino was pimping an awesome old school O's hat. You normally see most of the men's team in attendance at the Women's games, which is nice to see. And it was cool to see Dino and Jordan hang out in the student section during tonight's game. But I digress...
Sadly, there is no fairy tale ending to the game for the Lady Terps. Duke recaptured the lead and the Terps were unable to tie it when they were down three with 20 seconds left. But, as head coach Brenda Frese said, her team has proven that they can play with the best teams in the country. If they can just iron out a few things, this will be a very dangerous team indeed.