The Washington Times - February 26, 2009, 12:26AM

For 34 minutes, it sure seemed like Maryland would have a chance to beat No. 7 Duke here at Comcast Center.

Then a 3-pointer from Duke. Then another.

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Boom. Boom. Kobayashi Maru.

The Terps didn’t give possession away (11 turnovers). They shot reasonably well (48 percent). And while 67 points isn’t exactly a ton, it’s tough to pin this on the offense.

Instead, realistically, it was a matter of a team shortened by foul trouble (Greivis Vasquez) and annoying injury (Sean Mosley) running out of steam just shy of the end.

Maryland couldn’t have put together such a performance a month ago. Heck, maybe not even three weeks ago.  So that’s a good thing for the Terps.

But an important point: No matter how well they’ve played the last two games, this era of good feelings will come to a halt with a loss on Sunday at N.C. State.

That’s just realistic. The Terps need to avoid questionable losses (which N.C. State might or might not be) and they need road victories (under which N.C. State would most certainly qualify). Snag that one, and things seem just as sunny as a few days ago.

Patrick Stevens