Maryland came down to earth with a thud Thursday night after the Terrapins were beaten by North Carolina, 71-65, at Cole Field House. Yesterday, they tried to pick themselves up, dust themselves off and move on -- knowing that their next stop could be even more challenging than the last.

Saturday night at 7, Maryland must face seventh-ranked Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Georgetown is in a similar position of having to shake off a loss and play on the road. The 11th-ranked Hoyas (11-2, 1-1 in the Big East) lost to Providence, 78-74, Wednesday night. Tonight at 8, they will be in Boston Garden to face Boston College.

Elsewhere locally, American plays at North Carolina-Wilmington, George Mason is at Richmond and Navy is at East Carolina. George Washington plays at Penn State and Howard goes to Morgan State.

The loss to the Friars was the second in a row for Georgetown, which fell to Providence in the NCAA tournament's Southeast Regional final in Louisville. In Wednesday's loss, the Hoyas, who have been a bad free throw shooting team, made just 11 of 23 free throws in the second half and were 23 of 38 for the game.

Last year, Georgetown beat Boston College twice during the Big East regular season and again in the conference tournament.

Maryland (9-4, 2-1 in the Atlantic Coast Conference) had several problems against the Tar Heels -- nervousness, free throw shooting, regular shooting.

"We didn't do too many things well," center Brian Williams said.

Both teams seemed tense at the start, as the Tar Heels were playing on the road in their first conference game and the Terrapins were looking at the game as a way to show they can contend for a top spot in the conference. North Carolina settled down and took a 20-6 lead midway through the first half. The Terrapins, who didn't seem to relax, were behind the rest of the night.

"They showed their composure, which we didn't do," said Williams.

Williams and Tony Massenburg were not involved in the offense enough for the Terrapins to compete with the second-ranked Tar Heels. Coach Bob Wade yesterday pointed to a lack of movement from Massenburg and Williams (combined eight points) and lack of patience by the guards as a problem.

"At times it runs like clockwork and at other times we were very impatient," Wade said after practice.

Saying he had a "wealth of guards," Wade said he is still learning which guards he wants when. Against North Carolina, Rudy Archer and Steve Hood started, and Keith Gatlin came off the bench and played 27 minutes. Hood, playing 19 minutes, was five of six from the field to finish with 13 points, tying Derrick Lewis for the team high.

Archer (four of 15) and Gatlin (two of nine) struggled in their shooting. Teyon McCoy played just five minutes, but hit the one shot he took, a three-pointer.

"I made the decision to play Gatlin more," Wade said. "I was going with the experience. Teyon came in and played well. I'll have to try to get him involved early in the basketball game. It's a good problem. I've just got to get a better feel for when to make an insertion in the lineup."

Though many of Maryland's problems were induced by the Tar Heels, if the Terrapins do the same things tonight against Duke, the result will be the same.

The first thing Maryland needs to do is relax, which will be a difficult chore in Cameron. The building has 8,564 seats, many of which are filled with some of the wildest fans in college basketball.

Duke is 10-1 overall, 1-0 in the ACC and 6-0 in Cameron. In a sluggish performance Thursday night, the Blue Devils beat St. Louis University, 69-53. They have won 35 of their last 37 games at home.

"If it's not the toughest place to play, it's certainly one of the toughest," said Wade. "At Carolina, the crowd sits back, but in Cameron they are right on top of you."

The Duke fans have been yelling lately about 6-foot-10 junior forward Danny Ferry. The DeMatha High School graduate is averaging 18.2 points while hitting 56.8 percent of his shots, and has been grabbing 7.2 rebounds per game. But what makes Ferry especially effective is his passing ability. Though point guard Quin Snyder leads the Blue Devils in assists with 5.6 a game, Ferry is second with 4.5.

Wade said he thinks the Terrapins match up well with Duke, though Ferry presents the problem.

"He scores well from the outside and inside, he has power and finesse and is a great passer," Wade said. "Who do you put on him?"

Brigham Young 83, Wyoming 67:

Michael Smith scored 20 points and Jeff Chatman added 18 last night as undefeated Brigham Young upset the 12th-ranked Cowboys in Laramie, Wyo.

Brigham Young (12-0, 3-0 in the Western Athletic Conference) took a 28-27 lead on Brian Taylor's 17-foot jumper with 10 minutes left in the first half and led the rest of the way.

Fennis Dembo had 21 points to lead Wyoming (12-3, 1-3)

Gallaudet 60, Mt. St. Mary (N.Y.) 51: Brian Bippus and Rod Pedersen each scored 18 points in leading as the Bison (4-8) ended a three-game losing streak at home.