It didn't take long for Maryland women's basketball team to establish who was the better team against Atlantic Coast Conference upstart Duke yesterday at Cole Field House. The Terrapins scored the game's first eight points, in just over two minutes, and went on to rout the Blue Devils, 89-68.
Marylands (20-2) gave Coach Chris Weller her sixth 20-victory season in eight years. Maryland is now 9-2 in the ACC, good for second place behind North Carolina State. Duke is 13-6, 6-5 in the ACC.
The Terrapins led, 24-8, after 10 minutes, and never led by less than 11 the rest of the way.
Weller (171-48 overall) said: "I thought we played kind of spotty. Maybe it was brought on by the circumstances. We didn't practice Friday and had to practice yesterday morning. I walked five miles from Adelphi to get there. Maybe 20 wins was my present for doing that."
The highlight of the game was junior guard Marcia Richardson's 1,000th career point which came on a jump shot with 12:44 to go in the first half and gave Maryland an 18-6 lead.
She is only the second junior in Terrapin history to hit the 1,000-point mark. All-American Kris Kirchner was the first in 1980.
Richardson scored 27 points on nine-for-12 shooting.
"I didn't even know about the 1,000 points until after our last game," she said. "The shots were there against the zone and since the N.C. State loss I've been taking them more. Sometimes I don't even know where I am when I shoot. I was kind of worried I wouldn't play well; it's not every day a player gets 1,000 points."
According to Weller, "Marcia is one of the purest shooters in the game. I was trying to get her score for two years. Last December, I benched her because she wouldn't shoot.
"She and Jazz (Perazic) are beginning to initiate offensively. It was impossible to get inside on their zone, so we knew we'd go to Marcia and Jazz outside," Weller said.
Perazic added 24 points for Maryland, which hit 60 percent of its second-half shots. Stacy Hurd led Duke with 20.
"We told our players to stick to Marcia like glue but she did a good job of coming off the picks," said Duke Coach Debbie Leonard. "When the other team shoots 42 free throws, you'll get beat."