DURHAM, N.C. — Maryland had two chances in the final seconds to walk out of Cameron Indoor Stadium with a win one last time.
Jabari Parker blocked the first one. Coach Mark Turgeon blamed the second on “the Duke gods.”
The Terrapins’ final scheduled visit to Cameron ended in hard-to-swallow fashion Saturday night, a 69-67 loss to the eighth-ranked Blue Devils.
Jake Layman scored 18 points for Maryland (14-12, 6-7 Atlantic Coast Conference) and Dez Wells — who just about single-handedly beat Duke by scoring 30 in last year’s ACC quarterfinals — had all 17 of his points in the second half.
Charles Mitchell finished with 12 for the Big Ten-bound Terrapins, but missed two hook shots in the final 10 seconds that would have given them the lead.
“I don’t know how Charles’ shot didn’t go in,” Turgeon said. “Call the Duke gods.”
Parker scored 23 points, while Rodney Hood and Rasheed Sulaimon added 11 each for the Blue Devils (20-5, 9-3), who won their eighth in nine games by denying Maryland its first win at Cameron since 2007.
“I’m going to miss (the Duke rivalry) like crazy,” Turgeon said. “We played tonight for Maryland. … We played for all our former coaches, former players … because we knew we weren’t getting them at our place. This was our one chance.”
And they were an inch away — maybe even less — from a victory.
Maryland held the ACC’s top 3-point shooting team to 5-for-24 shooting from long range, and allowed Duke to shoot just 23 percent in the second half.
“Sometimes the basketball gods fool around with you when you’re not shooting, and they say, ‘You’ve got to figure out another way to win this thing,'” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “Our effort those last 20 seconds was spectacular.”
Parker gave Duke the lead for good when his authoritative, one-handed dunk over Jonathan Graham made it 68-67 with about 1:15 remaining.
Wells missed a jumper over Hood with about 50 seconds left. Duke milked the shot clock before Amile Jefferson missed a jumper that failed to draw iron, giving the Terrapins the ball.
The teams traded timeouts with 18.8 seconds left before Maryland worked the ball inside to Mitchell. He had one hook shot blocked by Parker with about 7 seconds left, and another bounced twice on the rim but would not fall through.
“The guys kind of willed their way to the basket,” Turgeon said. “It just didn’t drop.”
Said Jefferson: “You just hold your breath.”
The rebound made its way to Jefferson, who was fouled with 1.1 seconds left and hit a free throw to end the scoring.
Wells couldn’t get off an 80-foot heave before the buzzer, sealing Duke’s 30th straight victory at Cameron. That tied Stephen F. Austin for the longest active home streak in the country.
Duke missed 17 of its first 19 shots in the second half before Jefferson banked one in to tie it at 54 with 6½ minutes left.
About 2 minutes earlier, Wells capped a 12-1 run with a layup that gave the Terrapins their first lead at 54-52, and it was a one-possession game the rest of the way.
The Terps got quite an early earful from the Cameron Crazies, who taunted Turgeon with their classic “Sweat, Gary, Sweat” chant that had been mothballed since Gary Williams retired three years ago.
But once Maryland started chipping into — and eventually completely erasing — the Duke lead, those jeers stopped.
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