5:30 PM ET, February 17, 2008
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- Maryland's players figured they owed it to Brenda Frese to focus on beating Duke -- even in the face of their coach's big news.Crystal Langhorne had 25 points and 12 rebounds Sunday night to help the Terrapins (No. 5 ESPN/USA Today, No. 4 AP) beat No. 12 Duke 76-69, a victory that came hours after Frese gave birth to twin boys.Kristi Toliver added 23 points for the Terrapins (27-2, 11-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), who controlled the entire game to sweep the regular-season series for the first time in 15 years. Maryland also earned its first win at Cameron Indoor Stadium since 2000.The Terrapins learned a few hours before tipoff that the 37-year-old Frese had become a first-time mother. Once they had secured a tough win, they were free to think about her."We tried to text her, but honestly I think 'Coach B' really would have wanted us to focus on this game and win this game," said Laura Harper, who had 12 points and seven rebounds. "That would have been the best thing for it. Now that we did, we can come back and try to text her again or contact her somehow."The game was a rematch of the 2006 national championship game won by the Terrapins in overtime, but Frese and her newborns were the biggest news on this day.Markus William Thomas was born Sunday at 10:21 a.m. and Tyler Joseph Thomas was delivered 20 minutes later. Frese wasn't due to deliver until next month, but it became apparent in recent weeks that she wouldn't carry the twins full term. She long ago stopped accompanying the team on road games, with assistant Daron Park leading the team in her absence.Park said he had exchanged text messages with Frese's husband, Mark Thomas, before the game."As I was sitting in the hotel room after shootaround today reflecting on what has happened, part of me also felt the game was very secondary given the miracle of life that we had a small chance to experience," Park said with a smile.Still, Maryland did enough to stay right behind league-leading and third-ranked North Carolina in the ACC standings. The Terrapins had four players in double figures, took a 43-29 rebounding advantage and shot 56 percent after halftime as the Blue Devils (19-7, 8-3) repeatedly tried to get back into the game after trailing by 14 points in the first half."They definitely had a kick in their step," Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie said.Maryland steadily went inside to Langhorne, and the senior came through by going 11-for-15 from the floor. Toliver, despite committing 12 turnovers against the Blue Devils' trapping defense, also came through with some key second-half 3-pointers despite having a defender in her face.Duke never folded, cutting the deficit to 41-33 at halftime on a 3-pointer from Wanisha Smith in the final minute before the break. And the Blue Devils managed to close the gap to six points on six separate occasions before finally pulling as close as 70-65 on a drive by Smith with 2:54 to play.Yet Maryland remained in control. Langhorne hit a free throw to answer Smith's score, followed by two more from Marissa Coleman. Langhorne also came up with a key defensive play, getting back in transition to block a layup from Smith with about a minute left. Toliver closed that stretch with two more free throws, pushing the lead to 75-65 with 57 seconds left.Abby Waner had 13 points to lead the Blue Devils, while Smith, Chante Black and Joy Cheek each had 11 points. Duke shot 40 percent for the game while going just 8-for-11 from the line compared to the Terrapins' 23-for-33 effort.Afterward, McCallie, a mother of two, congratulated Frese on the birth of her sons."I don't ever want to go back to where she is right now," McCallie said with a chuckle. "I know it's a joyous thing for her and her family. But wow, diapers again. That's a concept."
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||24-50 (.480)||28-70 (.400)|
|3P Made-Attempted||5-12 (.417)||5-16 (.313)|
|FT Made-Attempted||23-33 (.697)||8-11 (.727)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||13 (0/0)||23 (0/0)|