DURHAM - The Duke Blue Devils pushed their season record to 15-0 by defeating Maryland in Cameron Indoor Stadium on Sunday evening by a 71-64 score. As always the match up between these two teams produced a tense contest and the Terps found ways to answer mini Duke runs all night long.
Tyler Thornton rocks
Duke got a huge lift from freshman Tyler Thornton this evening when he came into the game in the second half at the 17:23 mark in a game Duke just couldn't seem to find their rhythm. Duke had 6 total steals on the evening. Thornton had 4 of those in a mere 12 minutes of play. It was Thornton's career game to date and it took Kyle Singler less than one minute in the locker room to mention the lift he gave the team. It was Thornton's defense that may well have saved the Blue Devils on a night when they could have easily lost had a few bounces went the other way. Duke outscored Maryland 14-6 when Thornton was in the game.
Kyle Singler lives for the clutch
Make no mistake, Kyle Singler wants the ball in the clutch. His three point shot with 55 seconds left hit nothing but net and that made Cameron go nuts. Singler finished the game with 25 points and 10 rebounds. His 10 boards gives him 22 career games with 10 or more. He matched a career high with 10 field goals. His 25 points moved him past Jim Spanarkel into 10th on Duke's all time scoring list.
I cannot tell you how many local media types kept saying Nolan played his worst game of the season. What? Okay, he did not shoot the ball well going 5 of 18, but he scored 18 points, dished out a team high 8 assists and grabbed 7 rebounds from the guard spot. Bad game? Are you kidding me? Even Coach K said that Maryland's defense was designed to stop or slow the senior All American, just as we told you during our game tweets. We'll take a bad game from Nolan anytime, right? Okay, Smith did have 5 turnovers.
Seth Curry and Dre
Curry may have been the player who had one of their better games. His 12 points came on a night when Duke struggled to score. I cannot tell you how many balls rimmed in and out for Duke. Andre Dawkins added 8 points as well and that was huge on a night when three of the Duke big men combined for 6 total points but they did have 17 boards collectively.
Not a great team/stat night
Duke lost the stat battle in points in the paint, points off turnovers, fast break and bench points. They held an edge with 16 second chance points to the Terps 13. Those stats usually point to a loss, instead Duke finds a tough win, one which will yield valuable lessons as the season goes on.
Sidebar - Duke next travels to Florida State and they move to 2-0 in the ACC. The team started 15-0 for the fifth time in school history. Duke's 14 offensive rebounds tied for the second most this season for Duke. Ryan Kelly blocked 2 shots, giving him a nine game streak with 1 or more block.