DURHAM, N.C., FEB. 9 -- For 15 minutes today, Maryland found success beyond its wildest dreams, forcing 14 turnovers and taking a seven-point lead in the first half against No. 6 Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
However, from that point the Terrapins got caught in a numbers crunch as foul trouble and the Blue Devils' depth added up to a 101-81 loss.
In dropping its third straight Atlantic Coast Conference game, Maryland (12-10, 2-7) allowed Duke (20-4, 8-2) to convert 63 percent of its shots in the final 20 minutes and 55 percent for the game. It's the most points given up by Maryland this season except the 105 points scored Jan. 9 by North Carolina.
The Blue Devils also hit 12 of 18 three-point field goals, including seven of nine in the first half.
Six Duke players scored in double figures, led by Christian Laettner's 16 points. Vince Broadnax had 18 and Garfield Smith 16 for Maryland.
"They had too many good players. When you bring high school all-Americans off the bench, that's not bad," said Maryland Coach Gary Williams. "We played hard but we're not going to be as good as they are for 40 minutes -- that's life. They were going to have a run; we tried to stop it but we couldn't."
The definitive spurt came three minutes into the second half, Duke outscoring the Terrapins by 20-7 to extend a 44-41 advantage to 64-48 with 16 minutes remaining. Twice during the run the Blue Devils broke through Maryland's full-court pressure, with point guard Bobby Hurley finishing fast breaks by passing to swingman Thomas Hill.
On both occasions, the sophomore drew fouls while making the basket. Those whistles added to what already was an onerous afternoon for the Terrapins.
In the first 8:08 of the game, Maryland was called for eight team fouls. With 5:23 remaining in the half, that figure was 15. Point guard Kevin McLinton and starting center Cedric Lewis each had three fouls, while backup pivotman Evers Burns had four.
The foul trouble put the brakes on what could have been a stunning afternoon for Maryland. Duke had beaten Virginia, 86-74, on Thursday night and has a date against 19th-ranked Louisiana State awaiting it Sunday.
Although the Blue Devils promised they weren't going to look past Maryland, they weren't at their best, committing 33 turnovers.
The only thing Duke had going for it was its three-point shooting, making its first three to go ahead 10-2. But from there Maryland went on a 17-8 run to take the lead.
The Terps became more emboldened as Duke continued to mishandle the basketball. Broadnax scored on a layup and Burns hit a layup after a steal by Matt Downing. Smith was given credit for a basket on a goaltending violation by Duke and Lewis too made a layup following another Duke miscue.
Continuing to apply the pressure, Lewis made a steal, which led to a fast-break dunk by Matt Roe and a 29-22 Maryland lead with 7:03 remaining in the half.
But Lewis picked up his third foul and Burns his third and fourth in the next 1:40 and the Blue Devils took advantage. They went inside repeatedly, then got three-point shots from Hurley and Greg Koubek during a 17-2 run that put the Blue Devils ahead 39-31 en route to a 44-39 halftime lead.