Maryland was quite literally inches away from an incredible road victory, but the Duke Blue Devils ultimately proved too much of a road challenge for the Terps. 18 points from Jake Layman and 17 points from Dez Wells weren't enough to overcome a top-ten Duke squad, as Maryland lost 69-67 after Charles Mitchell missed a last-second turnaround jumper.
Mitchell's last-gasp jumper bounced off the rim twice, coming ever so close to giving the Terps a gigantic victory.
The result may not have been what Maryland fans desired, but it's hard to think of many better games in the storied Maryland-Duke rivalry than Saturday night's showdown.
All of Wells's points occurred after halftime.
Duke jumped out to an 8-2 lead at the first media timeout, led by six points from Jabari Parker. Maryland cut back at it to make it 8-6, but a 7-0 Duke run expanded the lead to 15-6.
Charles Mitchell scored eight of the Terps' first 14 points, and Jake Layman took over at that point. The forward hit two three pointers, sunk two free throws, and cut the Duke lead to 28-22 with under seven minutes to play in the first half.
The Terps did a good job containing Duke's outside shot early, as the Blue Devils hit just three of their first 14 three point attempts. With Maryland trailing 32-24, Duke missed a wide-open three pointer that could have spiraled things out of control. Layman responded on the other end by missing a wide-open three of his own, but Nick Faust came out of nowhere to jam home to rebound with one hand.
The Terps cut the lead to 32-31 on a jumper by Layman, but Duke went on a quick 7-0 run to make it 39-31 for Maryland's final possession. Faust hit a jumper as the buzzer expired, making the halftime score 39-33 Blue Devils.
Maryland got out to a quick second half start, scoring four quick points to cut the Duke lead to 39-37. With Maryland trailing 43-38, Charles Mitchell got called for his fourth foul with 16 minutes to play, sidelining the forward -- who had 12 points and six rebounds (both team highs) at the time.
After Mitchell was taken out with his fourth foul, the Blue Devils started to pull away. Duke extended their lead to nine points with 12 minutes to play, but Dez Wells (back in the game after foul trouble) was able to take a steal and convert the layup to make it 51-44. After another empty Duke possession, Wells drove to the hoop and drew a foul -- a classic signal of Dez Wells Takeover Time.
On Maryland's next possession, Wells found Layman on a beautiful bounce pass for the layup, cutting the lead to 51-47. Duke hit one of two free throws on their end, and Maryland hit a bucket to bring the lead down to three. Then, Wells struck again.
The junior guard glided down the court, drawing the foul and making the layup. He hit the ensuing free throw, tying the game at 52-52 with under nine minutes to play. Duke missed another shot on their next possession, and Wells went from one basket to the other in no time at all, sinking the layup with ease to take the lead at 54-52.
The two teams traded missed shots on their next two possessions, and Duke recovered a loose ball that ricocheted off a variety of players. Rodney Hood ended up making two free throws to tie the game back up at 54-54.
Maryland's next possession saw Seth Allen pumpfake a three, juke past his defender and make a nifty move inside to hit the floater and take the lead back. Amile Jefferson hit the shot off a post move on the next possession, tying it at 56-56, and a turnover on Maryland's next possession gave Duke the ball back. Rasheed Sulaimon hit two free throws on the other end, giving the Blue Devils the lead at 58-56.
Wells responded with another bucket, hitting a turnaround jumper to tie it up at 58-58, and Jabari Parker hit one free throw at the other end to give Duke a one-point lead. Layman then drove (!) to the hoop, drawing a foul and hitting both and taking the lead back for the Terps. The teams traded poor possessions, and Sulaimon capitalized on a turnover by hitting a three-pointer to take the 62-60 lead.
Mark Turgeon called a timeout, and Dez Wells drove to the hoop and put up a contested shot. It bounce off the rim, but Evan Smotrycz was able to tip it in to tie the game at 62-62 with four minutes left to play. Coming out of the media timeout, Rodney Hood made a floater over the outstretch Smotrycz, but Wells responded on the other end with an incredible weaving play under the hoop to tie it back up.
Duke was called for an offensive foul on his next possession, and Wells calmly hit a three pointer in a defender's face to make the lead 67-64. The Blue Devils made a pair of free throws on the other end, and Maryland turned the ball over on their next possession.
With just over a minute left, Jabari Parker drove to the line and slammed home a ferocious dunk on Damonte Dodd, giving the Blue Devils the lead and forcing a Maryland timeout with 65 seconds remaining. Wells missed the shot on the next possession, and Duke missed their shot on the other end (but managed to grab the offensive rebound). The ball was immediately counted as hitting the rim, re-setting the shot clock, but after review the ball was ruled not to have hit the rim, counting as a shot clock violation and giving the Terps one final chance with 18.8 seconds to play.
Wells dribbled up the floor and gave it to Allen, who sent it inside to Mitchell. The ball was knocked out of his hands, giving the Terps another chance at the win. Mitchell missed the turnaround shot on the ensuing possession, giving Duke the win.
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