James (Turk) Tillman, who was reinstated to the Maryland basketball team Tuesday, scored the Terps' last eight points today, including all five in overtime, in a 65-64 win over Duke.
Tillman was the central figure, both on offense and defense, as the Terps overcame a five-point deficit in the final 40 seconds of regulation and some atrocious foul shooting in the final minute of overtime.
This was another typical, wacky, down-to-the-buzzer Atlantic Coast Conference game, exciting, but not exactly an artistic success.
And the 6-foot-4 sophomore whose frustrations at little playing time resulted in a suspension that lasted four games, was the man most responsible for raising the Terps' record to 15-5 overall, 4-3 in the ACC and probably improving their confidence for big games against North Carolina and Clemson next week.
Tillman finished the game with 12 points. Only Jo Jo Hunter with 21 and Larry Gibson with 13 had more for Maryland in this slow-paced game.
When coach Lefty Driesell suspended Tillman, supposedly for the season, Tillman said he would finish the semester at Maryland and probably transfer to Howard next year. Today, Tillman left his transfer option open, but said it now is likely he will stay at Maryland.
In the end, Maryland won the game with a full-court press that everybody in the gym except Driesell thought the Terps should have used from the start against a Duke team that has lacked stable ball-handling since star guard Tate Armstrong suffered a broken wrist six games ago.
Tillman was the defender against Duke's Jim Spanarkel on a play that resulted in a controversial ending to the game.
When Brian Magid missed the first half of a bonus situation - following similar inefficiency by Brad David Tillman and Gibson in the final minute of overtime - Duke had possession and called a time-out with eight seconds to play.
Spanarkel, a 6-foot-5 sophomore who scored a career-high 30 points, took the inbound pass from Harold Morrison and dribbled upcourt, under pressure from Tillman. A step or two past midcourt, he lost control of the ball. When he finally recovered it, he was surrounded by Davis, Gibson and Lawrence Boston. He was off-balance, a result of what Spanarkel alleged was a push from a Maryland player. SPanarkel shot and two Duke teammates had a chance to tap in the ensuing air ball. They missed and Boston had it when the game ended.
"I would like to have gotten a better shot," Spanarkel said. "I lost the ball, the handle on it, and I was forced to put the ball up. I felt that someone bumped me on the side. But I had no other alternative; it's not going to help us to throw the ball around."
Lou Moser, the referee, told Duke coach Bill Foster after the game that there was no contact on the play.
Magid, whose 20-foot jumper with 37 seconds to play in regulation started Maryland's comeback from five points down, saw it differently from the Terps' bench.
"They could have called a foul," Magid said. "What he did was held fake and try to draw a foul."
Gibson, the player nearest Spanarkel, said he did not touch him but "nipped the ball."
When Magid made his only basket of the game, Maryland called a time out game, with 25 seconds to play and casle back with full-court pressure. With Boston guarding him, Mark Crow inbounded the ball to Spanarkel who tossed it to Steve Gray in the corner.
Gray, who has replaced Armstrong as Duke's playmaker, tried to pass the ball back to Spanarkel who was near the basket. Harassed by Tillman, Gray tossed the ball into the side of the backboard. Tillman recovered, sank an eight-foot jumper and completed the three-point play after being fouled by Crow.
It was Gray's 38th turnover in the six games since Armstrong was hurt.
Since Duke lost Armstrong, four teams have beaten the Blue Devils by using full-court pressure and forcing 99 turnovers in the process. Driesell opted not to press.
"We haven't pressed all year," Driesell said, "so I'd be foolish to press now. It was hard to press with the three big guys in there. And why should we press the whole game and get Brad Davis into foul trouble? We won the game with the press when it got down to the end.
Gray committed two more turnovers following the one that allowed Tillman to tie the game. The second, on a pass deflected by Tillman, came after the Turk's three-point play gave Maryland a 65-62 lead. It preceded four one-and-one foul'shot situations of which the Terps failed to convert a point.
When Gibson missed the third, with 20 seconds left, Gray threw a long pass out of bounds trying to get the ball downcourt. So Duke then fouled Magid with 11 seconds left to set up the ending.