Maryland couldn't defend the glass against an aggressive but undersized Duke frontline and couldn't find anyone who could effectively guard Gerald Henderson. Sean Mosley and Cliff Tucker both tried to check Henderson but neither enjoyed much success, though Tucker was clearly totally over matched while Mosley was able to hold his own for the most part. Dave Neal and Dino Gregory didn't give Maryland much help on the inside and had fewer combined rebounds in 43 minutes than Vasquez had in just 22 foul plagued minutes. For most of the game the defense was motivated and intense but late in the 2nd half it broke down and gave up some critical 3-point baskets with the game tied at 60 with just under six minutes left. The two three point baskets by Henderson and Kyle Singler were the back breakers for Maryland and the Terps never got closer than five points from that point on.
Cliff Tucker went from a career game against UNC to a net negative against Duke with only 4 points in 19 minutes and some turnstile defense against Henderson. It was another example of the problem with Tucker's inconsistency which undermines his decent talents. I don't think he was ready to play, especially on defense, and he isn't good enough to get by without adequate preparation. Unless Eric Hayes and Tucker can find some more consistency Maryland will depend on Vasquez to play great over the next three games. Bowie has shown a little improvement and might be coming out of his slump with 14 points.
Besides the rebounding and defense Maryland's critical misses at the free throw line also hurt them. In a tight game like this one you can't afford to miss free throws, turn the ball over or give up offensive rebounds. The Terps took care of the ball fairly well but missed seven 2nd half free throws (63% for the half) and gave up six offensive rebound on eleven misses by Duke. Maryland didn't get to many loss balls and allowed Duke to spread them out and break down the defense when they got a slim lead at the end of the game. It is painful because Duke was very beatable last night and didn't lose the game while Maryland didn't do enough to win it.