Duke vs. Maryland - Postgame Reactions & Takeaways - Too Close For Comfort

If this was the last chapter of the Duke-Maryland "rivalry", it was a good way to end it.

Duke got off to a hot start thanks to six quick points from Jabari Parker in the opening minute and a half, and it began to look as though the game might turn into a blowout.

However, after trailing 24-14 with 8:30 left, Jake Layman sparked a Maryland comeback, reeling off all 12 of his first half points in a 17-8 Terrapin run to cut the lead to one. The Devils responded with a quick 7-0 run, but a Nick Faust shot at the buzzer made the score 39-33 Duke going into halftime.

Parker led the scoring for the Blue Devils with 14 in the first half, and Rasheed Sulaimon pitched in with six off the bench.

The big story in the opening frame was foul trouble for both sides, with Rodney Hood picking up three first half fouls and Tyler Thornton picking up two for the Devils. Starters Dez Wells and Charles Mitchell each had three for the Terrapins, and Evan Smotrycz and Faust also found themselves in trouble with two.

That continued to rear it's ugly head in the second half, where both Hood and Mitchell were severely limited.

However, Wells saw his game turn around.

After Duke came out strong and grabbed a 51-42 lead, Wells led another Maryland comeback.

He scored all 17 of his points in the second half, and spearheaded a 14-3 run that allowed the Terrapins to grab the 56-54 lead.

The teams went back and forth the rest of the way, but a thunderous dunk by Parker put the Devils up 68-67 with just over a minute left as they held on for the 69-68 victory.

He finished with a game-high 23 points and eight rebounds, while Amile Jefferson led the team with 12 boards (including five offensive and several key ones down the stretch) to go along with seven points.

Wells recorded six rebounds and three assists to go along with his point total, and Layman finished with 18 points and also had six boards.

The game was too close for comfort for Duke, but they have their offensive struggles to blame.

They only shot 33.3% from the field, including a lowly 20.8% (5-24) from long range. Some of that was caused by Maryland's defense and their 1-3-1 zone that gave the Devils some trouble, but a large part was due to Duke's complacency and shot selection.

Duke's offense was stagnant for most of the game, relying on bailout jumpers at the end of the shot clock to avoid a turnover.

Now, that's not to say Duke didn't miss some open jumpers, but they lacked aggressiveness on offense for most of the game.

During their spurts where they jumped out to nine and 10 point leads, they drove the lane and got the ball in the post, both of which result in easy, high percentage shots.

Not doing so not only limits you to lower percentage shots, but also stagnates your offense and takes your team out of rhythm, which opens the door for your opposition to take control.

Maryland took advantage of that, which resulted in them grabbing the momentum later in the second half and almost pulling off the upset.

We haven't seen this Duke team play that complacent at all during a game since their struggles at the start of the ACC season, and I think they needed this wake up call. They've been dominating everyone they've played of late, and were probably feeling really good about themselves and their ability, as they should.

However, they need to maintain their focus throughout the entire course of the game.

The only way this team won't reach their full potential in March is if this exact scenario happens.

They have an off-night shooting the ball, and become complacent and reliant on their jump shooting. They need to stay aggressive, because that's when they're at their most dangerous.

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