7:00 PM ET, January 27, 2005
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- For the second straight game, Monique Currie had a big second half for Duke.This time, however, it was enough to give the Blue Devils (No. 4 ESPN/USA Today, No. 1 AP) the win.Currie scored 18 of her 24 points after halftime and rattled in the go-ahead jumper with 41.2 seconds left, helping Duke rebound from a loss with a 60-57 victory over Maryland (No. 22 ESPN/USA Today, No. 20 AP) on Thursday night.Currie also hit two key free throws late for the Blue Devils (19-2, 5-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) and finished with 13 rebounds in 39 minutes. Wanisha Smith added 14 points for Duke, which has won 10 straight and 13 of 14 against the Terrapins (13-5, 3-4).Duke was coming off a 56-51 loss at North Carolina, a game in which the Blue Devils shot 23 percent and scored just 13 first-half points. Currie tried to carry the Blue Devils in that one, scoring 22 of her 24 points in the second half.The loss ended Duke's 16-game winning streak, but Currie's encore was enough to prevent Duke from following that with another league loss."This game was definitely good for us, especially coming off a loss," Currie said. "We stuck together at the end and pulled it off when it was tight. It's good to be in that situation because you never know. It may come up later in the season."Maryland led early in the second half and fought the Blue Devils the entire way, tying the game at 55 on Crystal Langhorne's three-point play with 49.1 seconds left.Duke called timeout and set up a play for Currie, who took the pass and found herself wide open after a good screen from Mistie Williams. She launched the 16-foot jumper, which rattled around the rim before dropping through for a 57-55 lead.Then, after Shay Doron missed a shot on the other end, Currie hit two free throws with 21.1 seconds left to increase the lead to four."Mo's been in these situations so many times before, so I think she's comfortable with that," Duke coach Gail Goestenkors said. "And right now as a team, we're comfortable with her in that position. But I think as time goes on, you're going to see different players step up as well. We definitely don't want to become one-dimensional."Maryland kept fighting, getting a jumper from Anesia Smith with 13.3 seconds left to cut it to 59-57. Then, after Jessica Foley made 1-of-2 free throws to increase the margin to three, the Terrapins called a timeout with 3.8 seconds left with a chance to send the game into overtime.But the Terrapins didn't get a good shot, with Ashleigh Newman shooting an airball on a 3-point try just before the horn.Maryland coach Brenda Frese was pleased with her team's defensive effort, which slowed an offense that averages 80 points. But in the end, her team couldn't get the stop when it needed most."We talked about it every timeout and we knew they were going to (Currie)," she said. "But with Duke, they have a lot of weapons and Monique is unselfish, so if you double-down too much off their shooters you're going to get burned that way."Duke shot 38 percent and went 0-for-9 from 3-point range, ending a 241-game streak of hitting at least one 3-point shot. The last time Duke didn't hit a 3 was on Feb. 5, 1998, at Georgia Tech.Maryland didn't take advantage, shooting 40 percent and going 0-for-5 from behind the arc."Normally we're a very good shooting team and we've got a lot of players that can hit the 3, but it wasn't our night," Goestenkors said. "Fortunately it wasn't their night either."Doron scored 16 points to lead the Terrapins, while Langhorne had 14 points and nine rebounds.
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