- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 13, 2005

Two hours inside a crazed Comcast Center wasn’t enough for an adrenaline-fueled rivalry. This classic basketball matchup required overtime, probably to no one’s surprise.

And when both teams had finished throwing haymakers, Maryland was still standing.

Before a giddy throng of 17,950 that never stopped screaming and a national TV audience, the Terrapins outlasted No. 7 Duke 99-92 last night in the latest edition of perhaps college basketball’s fiercest rivalry.

“I didn’t know whether to laugh, cry or pass out,” said point guard John Gilchrist. “This is a win you’ll cherish for the rest of your life.”

Said forward Travis Garrison: “You could see the focus on our faces. We believed in ourselves.”

Six players scored in double figures for Maryland as the Terps continued their wildly inconsistent season with another unlikely victory that might be enough to send them to their 12th straight NCAA tournament.

Maryland (15-7, 6-5 ACC) might need only one or two more wins to seal a postseason bid after knocking off Duke (18-3, 8-3) for the second time in 17 days to complete its first regular-season sweep of the Blue Devils in 10 years.

“That’s the way the game is supposed to be played — nobody gave an inch,” Maryland coach Gary Williams said. “Great win for our school. Great win for our players.”

Gilchrist led Maryland with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Guard Daniel Ewing and center Shelden Williams had 23 each for Duke before fouling out. All told, four Blue Devils fouled out.

“I’ve never heard Comcast louder,” Williams said. “At the end of the game … it was unbelievable.”

Comcast was a madhouse from the early warmups two hours before game time. The Terps skipped onto the court before introductions, waving to the crowd. Fans mock fainted during the introduction of Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, who recently passed out during a game.

Students twice sang “Rock and Roll, Part II” despite a ban this school year during football and basketball games because of added profanity. However, there were no vulgar incidents like last year’s meeting that led to student behavior reforms.

The game brought out a host of celebrities including former Baltimore Orioles star Cal Ripken, Baltimore Ravens coach Brian Billick and former Boston Celtics coach Red Auerbach. Also present were many former Terps like Walt Williams, Tahj Holden, Johnny Rhodes and Calvin McCall.

Maryland center Ekene Ibekwe returned after sitting out two games with a cracked rib despite saying earlier in the week he would miss another two weeks. Forward Darien Henry suited up for the first time in two months following knee surgery. Even guard D.J. Strawberry sat near the bench in a wheelchair after undergoing knee surgery on Wednesday.

Maryland avoided another lackluster start of the sort that has plagued it in recent weeks. Instead, the ear-splitting energy of the crowd seemingly helped the Terps take a 16-9 lead. Gilchrist scored 10 points before Duke guard J.J. Redick took his first shot.

Ewing matched Gilchrist’s intensity with 14 points to lead the Blue Devils to a 24-22 edge as the pair combined to convert their first 10 shots.

Maryland soon scored nine straight for a 33-27 lead. The Terps started running while the Blue Devils’ frontcourt was hampered with three fouls on forward Shavlik Randolph and two on Williams with more than nine minutes remaining in the half.

Maryland continued working inside while limiting Duke to three field goals in the final 11 minutes for a 48-43 halftime lead. Gilchrist had 16 points, eight rebounds and five assists by intermission.

Redick finally made an impact at the start of the second half with two rainbow 3-pointers during a 9-2 spurt for a 52-50 Duke lead. The Blue Devils stretched it to 62-57 with 15:03 remaining on another 3-pointer by Redick.

Just when Duke seemed ready to put away the victory with a nine-point lead, Maryland guard Mike Jones countered with eight points in 70 seconds to get the Terps within 73-72 with 8:30 remaining.

Then Maryland’s frontcourt forged the Terps ahead. With Randolph fouling out with 6:33 left and Williams with four fouls, Maryland went inside for a 77-75 lead on Nik Caner-Medley’s layup with 6:03 left.

Duke rallied with two straight baskets by Williams for an 83-80 edge with 3:11 remaining. The teams kept trading baskets with Ibekwe giving Maryland an 88-86 lead with 39.5 seconds before Duke tied it six seconds later. Caner-Medley’s last-second shot was off the rim, forcing overtime.

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