Friday, March 11, 2011 10:36 AM
By Todd McElwee
The Terps defeated North Carolina State, 75-67, Thursday night, and in order to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes afloat, they must knock off hated Duke during the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament tonight at the Greensboro Coliseum.
"The positive thing is that we won," Terps head coach Gary Williams said. "Believe me, that's really important, especially at this time of year, to get that win. And now we feel good in preparation. You have to scramble to prepare because we put everything we had into N.C. State to get ready to play. Now we play Duke. We played them twice, so we have a pretty good idea what they do. Now we've got to find some things that we can do, hopefully do some things defensively that will bother them."
Coming off a three-game losing streak, the Terps (19-13, 7-9 ACC) were paced by their frontcourt. Sophomore forward Jordan Williams had 16 points and 13 rebounds while senior forward Dino Gregory added 11 points and six boards.
"After our three losses it was definitely a good time for us to come out and get a win tonight," Jordan Williams said. "At this time, we just take it game by game and play by play. We trust each other and trust the coaches and I think we are going to be a tough team to beat."
Duke (27-4, 13-3 ACC) is less than a week removed from being embarrassed, 81-67, at No. 13 North Carolina. The fifth-ranked Blue Devils shot only 35.5 percent from the field and got outrebounded, 40-32. Senior guard Nolan Smith had a game-high 30 points.
It's no secret the Blue Devils live and die with the 3-pointer. They've shot less than 30 percent from behind the arc during each of their four losses and knocked down just 22 percent of their treys last Saturday in Chapel Hill.
On Jan. 9, the Terps hung with then top-ranked Duke during a 71-64 loss in Durham. Maryland held the Blue Devils to just 40.3 percent shooting from the floor and 28.6 percent from 3-point range.
In College Park on Feb. 2, the Blue Devils connected on 52.6 percent of their field goals and 43.5 percent of their 3-pointers while embarrassing the Terps, 80-62.
"I remember in Durham we just came out with an aggressive attitude," Jordan Williams said. We didn't care who they were or what their ranking was. We just came out and played aggressive. The second game we played flat the whole game. We took the first game and took them lightly. It's important for us for definitely to come out with the same fire we had in Durham and be ready for it. All the guys will be excited about it. We'll definitely come out with that fire."
The ACC Tournament has been the Blue Devils' to lose in recent history. Duke has won nine of the last 12 titles, including the last two, and has claimed the most league crowns with 18.