Duke Coach Gail Goestenkors had just a few words for her players at halftime, but they came accompanied by a loud tone of voice.
Apparently that made the difference.
After allowing Maryland to stay with the No. 14-ranked Blue Devils for much of the first half, Duke dominated the second half en route to a 79-61 victory last night at Cole Field House.
"She told us in general to pick it up and that meant everything--offense and defense," said forward Peppi Browne, a Maryland native who had 21 points and a game-high 11 rebounds in front of a large crowd of family and friends. "That was basically it. She yelled at us at halftime for not playing hard."
Duke guard Georgia Schweitzer led all scorers with 25 points on 8-of-12 shooting, including 4 of 5 from three-point range. She also added nine rebounds.
Duke (13-1, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) led by 10 twice in the first half, but let Maryland back in the game. Trailing 35-25 with 3 minutes 26 seconds to go in the half, Maryland (8-4, 0-2) scored six straight points to cut the lead to 35-31 going into the locker room.
"There were a couple of times when we had it to 10 in the first half and we couldn't put it away," Goestenkors said. "They just kept playing hard and we couldn't seem to put them away until the end. Every game we go into I know we're going to out-hustle our opponent. I know we're going to out-work our opponent. This is one game, after watching so much videotape of Maryland, that I knew they were going to work just as hard as we were."
Duke took a 60-49 lead with about nine minutes remaining when Maryland scored seven straight points to cut the lead to 60-56. The Blue Devils, however, scored the next 11, with Browne scoring five.
"We were struggling in the matchups in the post," Maryland Coach Chris Weller said. "Our execution wasn't the greatest in the second half. You're not going to bounce back against Duke."
GEORGE WASHINGTON 83, ARKANSAS 70: Elisa Aguilar scored a game-high 31 points to lead the Colonials at Smith Center. The Colonials improved to 10-2, while the Lady Razorbacks fell to 9-3. Cathy Joens scored 16 points in reserve on 6-of-9 shooting and Starr Jefferson pulled down 10 rebounds for George Washington.
VIRGINIA 83, GEORGIA TECH 70: Svetlana Volnaya scored 29 points to lead the Cavaliers in an ACC game in Charlottesville. Lisa Hosac had 19 points and Schuye LaRue 15 for the Cavs (9-4, 1-1). Jamie Kruppa led Georgia Tech (8-4, 1-2) with 14 points and Danielle Donehew and Nina Barlin each scored 13.