Reserve guard Greg Manning hung in the air and lobbed in a 10-foot shot with three seconds to play last night to give Maryland a 70-68 upset of fifth-ranked Duke.
"Manning played a great game," said Duke Coach Bill Foster. "It was his game at the end to win. And he did."
Manning led both teams with 23 points.
The unranked Terrapins, in their last home game of th season, led for all but a few moments on their way to a 5-5 record in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Maryland is 16-8 overall.
Duke saw its lead in the ACC chopped to a half-game. The Blue Devils, who had beaten Maryland four straight times, slipped to 18-5 overall and 8-2 in the ACC, just ahead of North Carolina at 7-2.
Maryland, which led by as many as seven points, used an arm-waving 3-2 zone defense to almost shut off Duke's inside game and missile of a center, Mike Gminski.
In the last meeting between the two schools, Gminski had 22 points and 14 rebounds.
Last night Gminski seldom got the ball and did not score until 10 minutes into the game, finishing with 14 points. Bob Bender made six of eight shots, but Duke did not get good outside shooting from the usually deadly Jim Spanarkel (12 points this game, 27 last time) or his other teammates.
Leading, 68-62, with 3:50 left, Maryland spread its offense to loosen Duke's 2-3 zone.
Two missed shots, two errant free throws and two turnovers later, the score was tied at 68 on Gene Banks' seven-footer.
Maryland took the ball with 1:42 remaining, stalled until 15 seconds remained on the clock, then called time.
Maryland Coach Lefty Driesell would not say what he told his team in the huddle but did reveal what he didn't say: run a play.
"We didn't run a play because we didn't know what kind of defense Duke would be in," said Driesell.
Manning in-bounded the ball near mid-court, threw it to Dutch Morley and the ball was worked around back to Manning, who freed himself of Spanarkel to the left of the lane and lofted himself over Banks for the 10-foot clincher.
Duke couldn't get off a shot in the final two seconds.
"We wanted to shoot with about four seconds left," said Driesell. "I told them to look inside for Gibson and, if he wasn't open, to free-lance it."
"Manning just beat me," said Spanarkle. "It's as simple as that. I couldn't get back in time to get my hand on the ball.
"It was a nice move, a pressure shot, and he made it."
"Coach has had more confidence in the whole team," said Manning, "and he showed it by not specifying who to go to for the last shot. Somehow, I got by Spanarkel and I had to throw the ball pretty high, because Banks was in front of me.
"I wasn't thinking ahead of time about taking the shot. I was sort of worried about getting the ball in bounds.
"We knew coming into the game that we could play Duke even up. We're getting ready for the ACC tournament now, and this is a step in the right direction."
Gminski had only one good flurry at the start of the second half, and was mostly ineffective the rest of the game.
"Give them credit," said Gminski. "They did a good job inside. I just couldn't get going."
One of the keys for the Terrapins was that they did not let play get out of hand while Al King sat on the bench for about half of the second period with four fouls. King played only 24 minutes and scored 13 points.
Morley at one stretch in the first half hit four straight shots and scored 10 points. And at the end he ran the spread offense better than it has been run all season.
Buck Williams scored 10 points and had 13 rebounds and senior Larry Gibson had 10 points and eight rebounds. Ernest Graham remained in his shooting slump, making one of 11 shots. He played 24 minutes, making way for Manning.
The only Blue Devil who played up to par was Banks, who led his team with 16 points and 14 rebounds. Duke shot 35 percent the first half and went to the locker room trailing, 37-33.
The Devils were missing shots badly, especially from the baseline, the area Maryland planned to leave open to sag on Gminski and clog up the passing lanes. Duke got several open shots there but couldn't hit them.
"We frittered away too many opportunities to be as close as we were," said Foster. "It all boiled down to Manning's shot, and I have to give him all the credit in the world."