Coleman Leads No. 4 Maryland Over 10th-Ranked Duke 85-70

Marissa Coleman scored a career-high tying 30 points in the win

Jan. 14, 2008's From Downtown Coverage from College Park

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) -Maryland's seniors already know how it feels to win the NCAA championship. Now, finally, they know what it's like to beat Duke at home.

Marissa Coleman scored a career-high tying 30 points, and No. 4 Maryland pulled away to an 85-70 victory over the 10th-ranked Blue Devils on Monday night before 15,531 fans, the fifth-largest crowd in Atlantic Coast Conference history.

The Terrapins (20-1, 4-0) had lost nine straight at home against Duke (13-4, 2-1), including a 69-57 decision last season before a sellout crowd.

"We wanted to end this streak," senior guard Laura Harper said. "It was important to us. We can smile right now."

The game was a rematch of the 2006 national championship game, which Maryland won in overtime. The stakes weren't as high this time, but that didn't blunt the pleasure the Terrapins derived from beating their conference rivals.

"We had extra motivation. We wanted to send our seniors out with a win over Duke at home," Coleman said.

It was the 10th straight win for the Terps (20-1, 4-0), who blew a 13-point lead in the second half but never trailed. Kristi Toliver scored 19 of her 21 points after halftime, Crystal Langhorne finished with 16 and Harper added 13.

The Terrapins took 42 free throws and outscored the Blue Devils 33-10 at the foul line. But the biggest factor was Coleman, who went 9-for-13 from the floor and 8-for-11 at the line.

"No doubt, Marissa was the difference-maker," Duke coach Joanne McCallie said.

Coleman made a 3-pointer, a layup and two free throws in a 13-0 run that made it 81-68 with 2:09 left.

"Duke had no answer for Marissa. I thought she was phenomenal to watch," Maryland coach Brenda Frese said.

Wanisha Smith and Jasmine Thomas each scored 17 for the Blue Devils, whose eight-game winning streak ended.



"We've got to work on our poise down the stretch," McCallie said. "We played too fast, probably made some poor decisions. We just didn't finish."

Down 13 early in the first half, Duke used its second 10-0 run of the game to close to 47-44. Maryland upped the advantage to 9 points, but simply couldn't pull away.

Baskets by Carrem Gay and Thomas made it 60-55, and after Toliver answered with a long 3-pointer as the shot-clock was about the expire, Gay made a three-point play to keep Duke within 5.

Minutes later, the Blue Devils completed the comeback, getting four points from Smith in a 7-0 burst that tied it at 65 with 7 minutes to go.

Maryland, however, closed the game with a 17-2 run.

"I was very proud of how we kept our composure," Frese said.

Coleman scored 17, and the Terrapins went 17-for-18 at the foul line to take a 43-32 halftime lead.

Maryland missed its first four shots, then made five of the next six to go up 17-4. The Blue Devils started 1-for-8 from the floor, and McCallie burned two timeouts in the opening six minutes in an effort to keep the Terrapins from pulling away.

After Duke scored 10 straight points to get within 3, Langhorne made two layups and three free throws in a 14-6 spurt that made it 31-20.

Again, the Blue Devils fought back. Smith hit a 3-pointer, Joy Cheek made a layup and Abby Waner turned a steal into a three-point play to cut the deficit to 31-28. But Maryland answered with six straight foul shots to build the margin back to 9, and Coleman made successive 3-pointers near the end of the half to lift many in the crowd out of their seats.

The top seven crowds in ACC history have all been at Maryland.

"It was a fun game to be involved in," McCallie said, "until there were six minutes left."