HALFTIME: Maryland 31, Duke 23

As if Duke did not have enough motivation to win this game and move on in the NCAA tournament, the Blue Devils faced their long-time ACC rivals before they left the conference for the Big Ten.

At the half, fourth-seeded Duke trails No. 1 seed Maryland 31-23 at Spokane Arena as the Blue Devils look to secure their spot in the Elite Eight. Senior Elizabeth Williams led Duke with 10 points and 6 rebounds.

The Terrapins jumped out to a quick 5-2 lead in the first two minutes of the game. Although Maryland seemed to dominate the floor, the Blue Devils managed to stay with the Terrapins. They briefly took the lead with 14:22 on the clock as Williams cut through the paint for an easy layup, but Maryland quickly regained the lead with a quick three.

Duke struggled with defending shots from beyond the arc all season. As the best three-point shooting team in the country, the Terrapins took advantage of the Blue Devils’ weakness, making 4-of-10 shots from deep, carried by Laurin Mincy.

Mincy connected early from deep to open the game. She never slowed down from there, going 4-6 from the field and 4-5 from beyond the arc. She led her team with 15 total points. She made up for the lack of offensive production from Maryland’s second leading scorer—Lexie Brown—who ended the half without a basket.

The Blue Devils set the tempo for the first 10 minutes of the contest. Maryland—a team loaded with adept guards—knew that its advantage would stem from a fast paced game. Duke managed to slow the pace, holding the Terrapins—who are known for proficient shooting—to just 14 points in the opening 10 minutes of the first half.

Maryland turned it around in the following 10 minutes, scoring 20 points and pushing the ball faster than they did in the first. After the Blue Devils cut the lead to just two points with 6:04 left in the half, they went cold for almost three full minutes, allowing the Terrapins to take off. They extended their lead to six points.

Momentum is certainly in the Terrapins’ favor, as a foul on Mincy as she took a shot from deep with 50 seconds left to play. She converted on all three free-throws. Although freshman Azura Stevens retaliated with a layup, Maryland’s Brionna Jones returned the favor on the other end.

Here are some observations from the first half:

  • Duke committed just six turnovers in the half, far less than its usual double-digit halftime turnover count.

  • The Blue Devils shot 17 percent from beyond the arc, including an 0-of-2 showing by Rebecca Greenwell, who made nine triples during the opening weekend of the tournament.

  • Maryland shot 40 percent both from the field and downtown.


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