Maryland Downs Duke in OT to Win ACC Title, 92-89
March 8, 2009
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) - Marisa Coleman had 28 points and 15 rebounds, Kristie Toliver added 24 points and No. 4 Maryland captured its first Atlantic Coast Conference title in 20 years with a 92-89 overtime victory over No. 8 Duke on Sunday.
A day after ending North Carolina's four-year ACC title reign, the Terrapins (28-4) likely locked up a No. 1 seed for the NCAA tournament by holding off the Blue Devils (26-5) in the biggest game between the teams since the 2006 NCAA final.
In that game, Toliver drilled a tying 3-pointer to force overtime in Maryland's victory, and this time the Terrapins recovered after the Blue Devils capped regulation with a 7-0 run, forcing OT on Chante Black's tip-in with 1 second left.
Coleman's 3-pointer with 2:53 left in overtime put Maryland ahead to stay, and Abby Waner missed a desperation 3-point attempt in the final seconds for Duke.
Carrem Gay had 19 points and 10 rebounds and Jasmine Thomas scored 16 points for the Blue Devils, who were denied their first ACC title since 2004 despite their late flurry in regulation.
Thomas hit two free throws with 40 seconds left to cut a once 10-point deficit to 81-79. After Maryland's Anjale Barrett missed a long jumper, Duke didn't call a timeout, with Thomas missing a runner in the lane. Black came in from the other side and tipped it in with one hand, setting the partisan crowd into a frenzy.
But experienced Maryland regained its poise.
Coleman's 3-pointer with 2:53 left in overtime put Maryland ahead, and Toliver's layup off an inbounds play with 1:20 left put the Terps ahead 90-87. After a series of turnovers, Waner's layup cut the Terrapins' lead to 90-89 with 20.9 seconds left.
After Kim Rodgers hit two free throws, Duke's offense broke down and Waner's deep 3 from the left wing only hit the backboard, setting off Maryland's first ACC celebration since 1989.
The first ACC final since 2001 not to include North Carolina was a bruising game featuring plenty of hard screens and trash talk - but the only technical foul came when Maryland inadvertently came out of a timeout with six players on the floor late in the first half.
Black's tip-in was a rare big play for Duke's top scorer, who was saddled with foul trouble and finished with 11 points and eight rebounds on 3-of-11 shooting.