Maryland manhandled Duke, 85-72, yesterday at Cole Field House. It wasn't the most artistic Atlantic Coast Conference win for the Terps, but it was workmanlike, intimidating and effective.
While Maryland's inside men - Mike Davis, Larry Gibson and Lawrence Boston - were showing muscle, point guard Brad Davis came up with his most complete game of the year and freshman Jo Jo Huter his most spetacular.
In a game in which officials Jim Herrjak and Larry Lembo let the participants play - to Maryland's advantage - Brad Davis subdued star Duke guard Jim Spanarkel, and the Terps broke open the game after the physical play almost got out of hand under the Duke basket.
With the score 48-44 Maryland, Duke freshman center Mike Gminski went for a loose ball under his basket. Mike Davis interceded and pileup of players resulted. Davis and Duke for ward Mark Crow had words after the officials called a jumpt ball.
Mike Davis won the tip, and Hunter eventually fed Brad Davis for a fast-break basket. It was 50-44. Duke hardly got the ball past midcourt before Hunter forced Duke guard Bruce Bell into another jump ball.
Boston went diving into the Duke bench to save the possession and Hunter eventually got, two free throws, part of his game-high 21 points.
Mike Davis and Gibson each picked up his fourth foul in the ensulting two possessions and Maryland coach Lefty Driesell ordered a zone defense that shifted between a 3-2 and a 1-2-2.
The Terps played it aggressively and the lead reached 70-54 with about 4 1/2 minutes to play.
"We just blew it out on them after that, huh?" said Mike Davis.
Driesell, who repeatedly says he abhors the zone, has used it more frequently this season than in any of his previous eight years at College Park. The Terps looked like masters at it yesterday.
"We had no offensive pattern," said Spanarkel, who was held under 20 points for the first time in 10 games.
"We have offenses we run against the zone and it seemed like we ran a combination of about three of them. It was a little chaotic at one point."
It was most chaotic in Duke's first two possessions against the zone. Steve Gray threw a pass of Grainski's hand, and Hunter turned the 13th of 21 Duke turnovers into a fast-break layup. Then Brad Davis made a short jumper, following Crow's out-of-bounds pass and it was 6-46.
Until Maryland went into a zone, the Brad Davis-Spanarkel matchup was a minibattle typical of the contact in this game.
Spanarkel, a 6-foot-5 sophomore, scored 30 points against Maryland at Duke two weeks ago in a 65-64 overtime Maryland win. Yesterday, he got off just 12 shots in a pounding, fronting effort from Brad Davis.
"It was probably one of the most physical games I've ever played against a guard," said Davis. "It was like my old days playing center (in high school. He tried to go through the middle and post me low. It was like playing him a little bit like a big man."
The Terps have a 64 ACC record and are 18.6 overall following their 19th - and last - home game of the season. They finished 15-4 at home. They seem to be progressing, with three good wins in eight days.
Duke is now 14-10, 2-8 in the ACC Maryland will play Tuesday night in Greensboro against league-leading Wake Forest, 8-2 in the ACC and the most consistent team in the league. The Terps close out the regular season Saturday night at Virginia.
The Terps need to win both games for their sixth straight 20-win regular season, and Driesell noted that they still have as shot at it.
"That's Noc. 18," he said, flicking his cigar ashes George Burns fashion. "That ain't bad."