COLLEGE PARK, Md. – On one glorious night, Maryland bid farewell to its three standout seniors, avenged a bitter loss to Duke and moved into a tie with the Blue Devils atop the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Greivis Vasquez scored 20 points, including a clutch basket with 37 seconds left, and 22nd-ranked Maryland beat No. 4 Duke 79-72 Wednesday for its sixth straight win.
It was the final home game for Vasquez, who was honored with seniors Landon Milbourne and Eric Hayes before the game.
Afterward, fans stormed the court to celebrate Maryland’s first win over Duke in seven tries.
“You couldn’t really ask for a better script than that,” said Hayes, who scored 13 points. “The ACC regular-season title was on the line; it was just a real special night.”
Jordan Williams had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Terrapins (22-7, 12-3), who haven’t lost since falling to the Blue Devils by 21 on Feb. 13.
“This is a dream come true,” Vasquez said.
“Playing a big-time game like this was good for both teams,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “Our guys were in a position to win the game. I’m proud of that.
“It was tough because it was a game where we played well. It wasn’t a game when we played bad or played stupid. It wasn’t like that. This wasn’t a game where bad stuff happened.”
Duke center Brian Zoubek, who had 16 points and 17 rebounds in Duke’s earlier win over Maryland, finished with four points and 13 boards.
Both teams have one game left in the regular season. Maryland travels to Virginia on Saturday, and Duke hosts North Carolina.
The final minutes featured several outstanding shots, each more important than the last.
Scheyer hit a 3-pointer to put Duke up 63-60 with 5:25 to go, and Vasquez tied it with a jumper from beyond the arc. Scheyer then scored on a drive, but Maryland answered with a hook shot in the lane from Adrian Bowie and a fadeaway jumper by Vasquez.
It was 69-all before Williams scored on a follow. Then, after Duke missed twice, Vasquez tucked the ball to his chest and bulled his way to the basket before launching a shot that dropped through the net, making it 73-69.
“It was a tough shot,” Vasquez said. “It was meant to be.”
Sean Mosley added two free throws with 26.2 seconds left.
“It comes down to a possession or two of theirs. They made a couple of their shots, we missed a couple of ours,” Scheyer said. “That’s the way it goes.”
Maryland finished unbeaten at home in the ACC and 15-1 overall. Afterward, coach Gary Williams gave some of the credit to the enthusiastic fans.
“The crowds have been great,” he said. “We really appreciate that from our fans.”
The Terrapins thrilled the crowd by getting off to a sizzling start.
Maryland led 7-0, 19-7 and 33-19 before Duke settled down. The Blue Devils took their first lead when Scheyer opened the second half with a 3 to make it 41-40.
Duke led 47-44 before Williams made a three-point play, Bowie scored on a drive and Milbourne added a dunk. After a layup by Scheyer, Bowie connected from long range to put the Terps up 54-49.
But Smith hit a tough baseline jumper and then converted a three-point play to tie it with 9:11 left, and after a series of misses by both teams, Smith’s driving layup put Duke back in front.
The lead went back and forth until Maryland’s closing 10-3 burst.
The Blue Devils ended the first half with a 19-7 run to get within 40-38.
Duke missed its first six shots and fell behind 7-0 before a tip-in by Zoubek ended the drought. Milbourne followed with a 3-pointer, but he picked up his second foul on Maryland’s next possession and was forced to take a seat on the bench.
The Blue Devils were 1 for 8 and trailed 10-2 when officials noticed a snag in the net and replaced it. Kyle Singler promptly drilled a 3 before a reverse layup by Hayes and a three-point play by Williams – off a no-look pass from Vasquez – sparked an 11-3 run that made it 21-8.
At that point, Scheyer, Singler and Smith were a collective 1 for 9.
The trio accounted for Duke’s next four baskets, and a layup by Zoubek got the Blue Devils to 25-19. Mosley then hit a jumper for Maryland, and successive 3-pointers by Hayes and Mosley boosted the margin to 14.
It was 40-29 before Duke ended the half with a three-point play by Singler and 3-pointers by Smith and Scheyer.
“They made every shot, we missed every shot – although we were getting good looks,” Scheyer said. “We felt pretty good going into halftime, knowing that was their best shot.”