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Maryland Sails Past Duquesne

For the first time this season, No. 5 Maryland found itself in a battle after halftime.

Vying for their fourth straight victory, the Terrapins led Duquesne by only 11 points with 11 minutes left. Then, finally, Maryland's depth proved too much to handle.

Terence Morris scored 18 points, Steve Francis added 15 and Juan Dixon had 10 off the bench as the Terrapins handed the Dukes their first loss, 81-47 Monday night.

Maryland improved to 4-0 for only the fifth time since the 1980-81 season. The Terrapins' average margin of victory is 40 points, but this one was not a typical blowout.

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"That game was still available to them with 12 minutes left," Maryland coach Gary Williams said.

But Duquesne (3-1) scored only eight points in the final eight minutes as Maryland closed the game with a 25-8 run.

"That's just how we are. We come at you in waves," said Laron Profit, who had nine points. "Like Jaws, we keep coming. You think you're rid of us and we're right back there."

Maryland next plays Thursday in the Puerto Rico Shootout, an eight-team tournament that includes No. 4 Kentucky, No. 10 UCLA and No. 13 Xavier.

Shawn Tann scored 13 and Courtney Wallace 12 for Duquesne. Wayne Smith, who came in averaging a team-high 14.7 points per game, picked up his third foul with 13:33 left in the first half and finished with seven points on 3-for-13 shooting.

Maryland led by 15 at halftime but went more than four minutes without a basket at the outset of the second half as the Dukes closed to 40-30. Profit then scored on an alley-oop pass from Dixon, Morris made a layup and Obinna Ekezie sank a free throw to restore the 15-point cushion.

Duquesne quickly got within 11 before Maryland reeled off seven sraight points for a 54-36 lead with 9:30 remaining.

"We were right in there but then we rushed a few shots and things kind of snowballed," Duquesne coach Darelle Porter said. "Four minutes later Wallace fouled out and that was kind of it."

The margin swelled to 24 points with five minutes left.

"Their game plan was to come in and slow it down. At the same time I think we really stepped it up in the second half and forced them into a lot of turnovers," Francis said.

The Dukes shot 28 percent (17-for-60) and missed half their 16 free throws. Duquesne shot 31 percent, went 2-for-8 at the line and had eight turnovers in falling behind 38-23 at halftime.

"In the first half we were playing them pretty tough but we couldn't put it in the basket, and those were not difficult shots," Porter said.

The Terrapins led 16-11 before Morris dunked off a pass from Profit and hit a jumper off the glass to start a 10-2 burst that put Maryland up by 13. After the Dukes got within 10, Francis scored five straight points in an 8-0 spree that made it 36-18.

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