FCP logo

Full Court Press

FCPrep logo

Friday, July 19, 2019

Up and Down the ACC: Duke v. Maryland the Best-Played Game of the ACC Season

Article Lead Image

Photo Caption: Haley Peters (White No. 33) was named Full Court’s “Surprise ACC Player of the Week” after posting a career-high 21 points to lead No. 5 Duke to an 80-72 victory over No. 8/7 Maryland on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012 in Durham, No. Car. Peters, a 6-3 sophomore wing, also grabbed five boards, and was credited with an assist and a steal, in the win which secured sole possession of first place in the ACC standings for the Blue Devils. Duke takes on No. 3 Connecticut this coming Monday at 7:00 p.m. EST in Durham’s Cameron Indoor Stadium. (File Photo)

Photo Credit: Courtesy Duke Photography/Jon Gardiner

By Rob Clough

In what was the best-played game of the ACC season, No. 5 Duke defeated Maryland, then ranked No. 8/7, 80-72, in Durham on Sunday to go to 7-0 in league play. 

These two Top Ten teams were evenly matched in nearly every department. Duke shot 50 percent from the field and boasted five players in double figures, led by Haley Peters who put up 21 points on a dead-eyed 10-of-12 from the field. Maryland connected on 45.5 percent of its field-goal attempts and three Terps notched double-digits, led by Alyssa Thomas with a game-high 26 points on 10-for-20 shooting that included two (of three) three-pointers.

Speaking of three-pointers, neither team relied on them too heavily. Duke netted three treys on nine attempts (33.3 percent). Maryland knocked down four from beyond the arc, out of 15 attempts (26.7 percent.) 

Neither team missed a single free-throw, but then again, since both squads managed to play defense without fouling, not much of the game was played at the foul line, where the two teams went a combined 15-of-15. Both teams also did a good job of handling the rock, combining for just 19 turnovers.

Both squads also relied heavily on their starters, with each garnering 12 points from its bench.

The decisive difference? Rebounding. The Blue Devils dominated the boards to the tune of 41-30. That included a five-rebound advantage (16-11) on the offensive glass, which Duke translated into 16 second-chance points, to Maryland’s 11. 

If this game was a referendum for ACC Player of the Year, the results were inconclusive. Maryland’s Alyssa Thomas posted 26 points and 10 rebounds for the losing side; both were career high and game highs. But Duke’s Chelsea Gray registered an equally impressive stat line of 17 points, 11 assists and five rebounds. Gray also deserves a great deal of the credit for Duke’s ultimate victory, having scored seven of the Blue Devils’ last nine points, including a big three and a post-up that caught Maryland off-guard.

There’s little question that Elizabeth Williams has already sewn up the ACC’s Rookie of the Year award, given that she just won the league’s Rookie of the Week honors for the sixth time this season.  Indeed, though just a freshman, Williams has got to be part of the conversation for first-team All-ACC and may well win the hardware as national Rookie of the Year.

Though Duke, with the win, holds sole possession of first place in the conference standings, the Terps, who otherwise took care of business last week by bullying Wake Forest, 86-58, are certainly still in a position to win the regular-season ACC race—especially since they’ll get another crack at the Devils in College Park on February 19.

Let’s take a look at last week’s action elsewhere in the ACC, the current standings, our Full Court Surprise Player of the Week, and the best of the games to watch in the coming week.

Summing Up the Week’s Results

Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012

  • No. 5 Duke 79 @ Georgia Tech 62

Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012

  • No. 24/RV North Carolina 56 @ Virginia Tech 37
  • Florida State 68 @ Boston College 59
  • Wake Forest 58 @ No. 8/7 Maryland 86
  • No. 11/10 Miami 56 @ Virginia 53
  • North Carolina State 62 @ Clemson 46

Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012

  • Boston College 58 @ Virginia 69

Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012

  • N. 24/RV North Carolina 60 @ North Carolina State 50
  • Georgia Tech 79 @ Florida State 55
  • Clemson 65 @ Wake Forest 94
  • No. 8/7 Maryland 72 @ No. 5 Duke 80

Monday, Jan. 23, 2012

  • Virginia Tech 48 @ No. 11/10 Miami 79

Parsing The Week’s Results

Miami took care of business this week, with a narrow win over Virginia (56-53) and a thorough rout of Virginia Tech (79-48).

But the Hurricanes paid a high price for their victory over the Cavaliers, when junior forward Morgan Stroman tore her Achilles deep in the second half. Stroman, one of three ‘Canes averaging double figures with 12.9 points per game and second on the team in rebounding with 6.5 per game, is done for the season after undergoing reparative surgery on Tuesday. She is expected to make a full recovery and return to action next year.

The Hoos had their chances to win that game, as they were up by two points with 2:32 to go. But Telia McCall had perhaps the worst two minutes of her playing career, first missing a pair of free throws to open the door for the Miami comeback. The ‘Canes’ Shenise Johnson saw the opening and walked right through it, stealing the ball from—who else—McCall, and laying it up on the other end. Fouled in the process by ... McCall (her fifth personal) ... Johnson, who is still very much in the mix to repeat as ACC Player of the Year, converted the traditional three-point play to put Miami on top, 54-53.

Virginia was unable to get anything accomplished over the next minute and change, and forced to foul, put Johnson back on the line, where she made both. Virginia still had a glimmer of hope, but missed two attempted three-pointers in the final seconds.

With Stroman out, the ‘Canes inserted center Pepper Wilson into the starting lineup against Virginia Tech, with positive results.

Meanwhile, the Hoos bounced back on Monday with a grinding win against visiting Boston College, 69-58. 

North Carolina also bounced back from their pantsing a week ago at UConn to beat Virginia Tech, (the salve for any ACC team), 56-37, and then took care of rival North Carolina State, 60-50, on the road.

The Wolfpack split their games this week, picking up their third league win by delivering Clemson a 62-46 beat-down on its home floor last Thursday.

That made two losses last week for the Tigers, who also got smacked around by Wake Forest (65-94) to fall to 1-5 in the ACC. 

Florida State beat Boston College, 68-59, in a game that was pretty competitive from the Eagles’ point of view; they are starting to improve, but are still far behind the good teams in the ACC. Indeed, it’s not looking good for Virginia Tech, Clemson or Boston College to make it to 10 wins in conference play this year.

However, the Seminoles split their games this week, losing a key contest at Georgia Tech, 55-79, on Sunday and making their chances of getting to the postseason ever gloomier.

Trending Up: Duke.

The big news in Durham was obviously Duke’s win over Maryland, a victory that kept them a game ahead of Miami and two games ahead of the Terps in the race for the ACC regular-season championship.  Duke showed nice scoring balance and paid a lot of attention to details like hustle, ball-handling and decision-making.

On top of that quality win over a Top Ten opponent, the Blue Devils had their best performance on the road this season knocking off Georgia Tech, 79-62, this week without too much trouble. Duke sliced up the Yellow Jackets’ press to build a big early lead and then weathered some GT runs to win comfortably.

Trending Down: Florida State.

After narrowly defeating an awful Boston College team, the Seminoles turned the ball over 24 times
against Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets translated the ‘Noles carelessness with the basketball into 32 points in a 79-55 blow-out. This was a game Florida State needed to win if they wanted to build any kind of case for a postseason appearance.  The ‘Noles still have other opportunities, but their margin for error grows ever smaller.

Current Standings

ACC Women’s Basketball Standings
(As of January 24, 2012)
Rank School Conf. Pct. Overall Pct.
1 Duke 7-0 1.000 16-2 .889
2 Miami 6-1 .857 17-3 .850
3 Maryland 5-2 .714 18-2 .900
4 North Carolina 4-2 .667 14-5 .737
5 Georgia Tech 4-3 .571 14-6 .700
6 Virginia 3-4 .429 15-6 .714
7 NC State 3-4 .429 13-7 .650
8 Florida State 3-4 .429 11-10 .524
9 Wake Forest 2-4 .333 12-7 .632
10 Virginia Tech 2-5 .286 6-14 .300
11 Clemson 1-5 .167 5-12 .294
12 Boston College 0-6 .000 5-14 .263
Source: TheACC.com

Full Court Surprise Player of the Week: Haley Peters, Duke.

After a sub-par effort (two points, three boards, one assist, four turnovers in just 12 minutes on the floor) that saw her benched in the second half against Georgia Tech, Haley Peters rallied to score a career-high 21 points and lead the way to a Blue Devils victory over Maryland.  Acting as a pressure valve for Elizabeth Williams, Peters, a 6-3 sophomore wing, nailed a variety of jump shots from all over the floor, including a jump-hook and a three.

Stat of the Week: How Does the ACC Stack Up on the National Stat Sheet?

This has not been a vintage year for the ACC when one considers the league from top to bottom. 

That said, the league is well-represented on the leaderboards of a number of national NCAA Division I statistical categories. Let’s see which ACC teams place in the top 20 in each:

  • Scoring: Maryland #2, Miami #5, Duke #12

  • Field-Goal Percentage: Maryland #5, Duke #6, Florida State #14

  • Field-Goal Percentage Defense: North Carolina #13

  • Assists: Maryland #10, Duke #13

  • Assist/Turnover Ratio: Maryland #9

  • Turnover Margin: Virginia #3, Maryland #10, Wake Forest #15, Georgia Tech #17

  • Rebounding Margin: Maryland #3, Duke #11

  • Blocks: North Carolina #5, Duke #9, Clemson #10

  • Steals: Miami #3, Wake Forest #5, Virginia #7, Duke #10

What these numbers tell us is that the three best teams in the league are also among the best in the nation in multiple categories. The numbers also tell us that those three teams rely mostly on their ability to either score and rebound (Duke/Maryland) or score and turn their opponents over (Miami). 

North Carolina relies on its post defense, while Virginia’s stingy and careful style
makes them a tough team to score against.

Five ACC Games To Watch, 1/24/2012 - 1/30/2012

  • 1. Virginia @ Georgia Tech. Games between the middle-tier ACC teams now take on far greater significance as we near the midway point of conference play.  This is a crucial swing game for both teams.  For Georgia Tech, it could be a big win against a quality opponent.  Considering that their games against Miami and Duke are done, the Jackets have a chance to win up to 11 or even 12 games.

      For Virginia, this win would square them at 4-4 in the league with a lot of winnable games ahead of them.  Virginia may be the toughest defensive team in the league, but it’s not clear whether they have the assets compete with Tech’s size or depth.

    Prediction: This game will be close until the very end. Home court may give Georgia Tech the edge, but realistically, this one is too close to call.

    When: Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012, 7:00 p.m. EST, Gwinnett Center, Duluth, Georgia

  • 2. Florida State @ North Carolina State. Florida State is losing games against teams of similar ability, making the odds of reaching postseason play longer and longer. North Carolina State is in a similar boat; they simply need to get wins.

    The Wolfpack have a better RPI and more quality wins, so they have more at stake.

    Prediction: The Seminoles’ powerful frontcourt could batter the small Pack, but it’s more likely that NC State’s guard play will swamp the Seminoles. Look for Marissa Kastanek to have a big game for NC State.

    When: Friday, Jan. 27, 2012, 6:30 p.m. EST, Reynolds Coliseum, Raleigh, No. Car. (RSN)

  • 3. North Carolina @ Wake Forest.  After being humiliated by UConn, the Heels got back to work and eked out ugly wins against Virginia Tech and NC State last week.  The latter game was on the road against a highly motivated opponent, but the Tar Heels controlled the boards and played suffocating defense.

    Wake has yet to score anything resembling a quality win.  They have the talent to compete with UNC, but their terrible ball-handling and weak rebounding will wind up dooming them.

    Prediction: The Heels will quietly improve to 5-2 in league play.

    When: Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012, 2:00 p.m. EST, Joel Coliseum, Winston-Salem, No. Car.

  • 4. Florida State @ Virginia. This is another big swing game. Florida will have trouble scoring against Virginia’s sticky zone defense, given that Miami, one of the top offenses in the nation, barely managed to eke out a three-point win over the Hoos last week.

    Prediction:  Unless the Seminoles’ Alexa Deluzio scores 20+ points, Florida State will have no chance to win this one.

    When: Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012, 3:30 p.m. EST, John Paul Jones Arena, Charlottesville, Va. (ESPNU).

  • 5. Connecticut @ Duke. This is the game of the week, though recent games in this series have been one-sided laughers in UConn’s favor. At least Duke has the home-court advantage—but then again, Duke’s last loss at home came on Jan. 18, 2010, at the hands of the Huskies in a 48-81 blowout. In fact, until 2011 when UConn, which holds a 7-3 advantage in the series between the two teams, devastated Duke, 87-51, at Storrs, the home team had never won.

    The Huskies don’t have Maya Moore this time around, but UConn is still a highly disciplined and organized team with the best coach in women’s basketball. UConn will try to run on Duke misses and turnovers and let the Devils sell them the rope with which they will hang them.

    UConn has packed the lane and dared Duke to shoot off the dribble in recent years.  Duke’s ability to hit jump shots in recent games has been a big key to their winning streak; we’ll see if they can do this against a team that is supremely confident against them.

    The biggest single indicator that this Duke squad might have what it takes to at least stay on the court with the Huskies is the narrow margin (54-56) by which Notre Dame beat the Blue Devils in late November in the Bahamas.

    Prediction: This game won’t be as embarrassing as others in this series in recent years (thanks in part to Williams and Gray), but this Duke team isn’t ready to win against UConn just yet.

    When: Monday, Jan. 30, 2012, 7:00 p.m. EST, Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham, No. Car. (ESPN2).

Originally published Wed, January 25, 2012

Reader Discussion

Please Log in or, if you are not yet a member, Register to use the full features of this site.

Women's Basketball Calendar

July 2019
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31 1 2 3 4

Game of the Day

Friday, July 19, 2019

Today's Top Games

For a full calendar and related details on upcoming nationally televised and Top 25 games, as well as past game scores, and other women's basketball games of interest, click on the link "Women's Basketball Calendar" above.


Try Advanced Search

Week: February 7, 2012
1 Baylor (31) 24-0 1 1 1 775
2 Notre Dame 23-1 2 2 2 743
3 Connecticut 21-2 3 4 3 710
4 Stanford 20-1 4 5 4 685
5 Duke 19-3 6 8 5 650
6 Miami (FL) 20-3 7 7 6 604
7 Kentucky 21-3 5 15 7 584
8 Maryland 20-3 10 10 8 534
9 Wisconsin-Green Bay 20-0 9 24 9 530
10 Ohio State 21-2 11 NR-RV
10 483
11 Tennessee 17-6 8 3 11 476
12 Delaware 20-1 13 NR 12 434
13 Georgetown 18-5 15 11 14 379
14 Texas A&M 16-5 16 6 15 378
15 Nebraska 19-3 18 NR 13 309
16 Rutgers 17-4 14 12 17 372
17 Louisville 17-6 12 9 20 276
18 Gonzaga 21-3 19 NR-RV
19 234
19 Purdue 19-5 17 21 16 222
20 Georgia 18-6 20 12 21 202
21 Penn State 18-5 21 14 18 176
22 DePaul 17-7 23 18 NR-RV
23 Georgia Tech 16-6 22 NR-RV
22 104
24 South Carolina 18-5 NR-RV
NR 24 46
25 Vanderbilt 18-5 NR-RV
NR 45
Dropped Out: No. 24 North Carolina, No. 25 Kansas.
First-place votes: Total first-place votes received (if any) are indicated in parentheses following school name.
Others receiving votes: St. Bonaventure (22-2) 34; North Carolina (17-6) 19; California (17-6) 18; Florida Gulf Coast (21-2) 16; Middle Tennessee (19-5) 15; Texas-El Paso (20-2) 8; Texas Tech (16-6) 5; Brigham Young (21-4) 4; Fresno State (19-4) 4; St. John's (15-8) 4; Princeton (15-4) 3; Oklahoma (15-7) 2; West Virginia (17-6) 2; Kansas State (15-7) 1.
Rank remains unchanged since last week
Ranking has risen since last week.
Ranking has dropped since last week.
Credit: Courtesy Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). The weekly Division I Top 25 Coaches' Poll, sponsored by USA Today and ESPN, is based on voting by a Board of Coaches made up of 31 head coaches at Division I institutions all of whom are WBCA members.