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Blue Devils win 26th straight home game

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- Duke appears ready to make its annual
mid-February charge.

Dahntay Jones scored 21 points and J.J. Redick added 17 as the
eighth-ranked Blue Devils ran their winning streak in Cameron
Indoor Stadium to 26 straight with a 75-70 victory over No. 13
Maryland on Wednesday night.

After a rough few weeks, Duke (18-4, 8-4) is tied with the
defending national champion Terrapins (16-7, 8-4) for second place
in the Atlantic Coast Conference with four league games remaining.

Wake Forest, which plays at Georgia Tech on Thursday night, is
7-3.

"This shows we're getting more mature as a basketball team,''
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "We keep getting a little bit
better.''

The Terrapins beat Duke 87-72 on Jan. 18 by dominating the
second half. But this time around it was the Blue Devils who closed
the deal in the final minutes after leading 37-33 at halftime.

"We wanted to come out and give them a new look because that
game wasn't indicative of what we can bring to the table,'' Jones
said of the loss a month ago in College Park. Md.

Steve Blake missed a contested 3-pointer with 2 seconds left
that could have tied it for the Terrapins, but he threw up an air
ball and Redick closed it out with two free throws.

"Blake is a big-time player and he wants to take the big-time
shot,'' said Chris Duhon, one of two players who contested the
potential game-tying bucket. "We just wanted to put as much
pressure on him as we could and not foul. Luckily he fumbled it a
bit.''

Blake, who as 2-for-10 from the field, said he may have been
fouled on the play.

"Duhon kind of tripped himself and he kind of tripped me off
balance,'' Blake said. "That got me off my shot, but that has
nothing to do with how the game finished. We should have played
well the whole game.''

Shelden Williams also came up big for the Blue Devils. The
freshmen had three points in 13 minutes in the first meeting
between the last two national champs, but Williams showed
Maryland's experienced big men early that he had matured. He
finished with 13 points, 11 rebounds and six of Duke's season-high
13 blocked shots.

"Our defense has become much more help oriented and reactive
for about the last 3½ weeks,'' Krzyzewski said. "If we didn't play
good defense the way we've been shooting we might be under .500 in
the league -- and I'm not fooling around. Our defense and rebounding
has kept us afloat.''

Tahj Holden led Maryland with a career-high 18 points, but Drew
Nicholas, who scored 24 against Duke a month ago, was held to
eight.

"We came in here and gave it our best shot,'' said Maryland
coach Gary Williams, who had won two of the three previous meetings
in hostile Cameron. "We lost by five. That's a pretty good shot.''

Each team started slowly in the second half before Duke went up
67-57 with 5:49 left as Redick made two long 3-pointers and Jones had a three-point play in a span of 1:47.

But the only team with a winning ACC road record coming in would
make one last stand, pulling within two with 3:18 remaining.

Jones then made two free throws and Daniel Ewing nailed a
3-pointer with 2 seconds left on the shot clock to give Duke a
73-66 lead.

Duke was guarding a three-point lead in the final 45 seconds and
tried to run the clock down, but Ewing lost it in the lane, setting
up Blake's final shot that came up short.

Maryland scored 90 points against No. 10 Wake Forest on Monday,
but managed just 19 in the opening 10 minutes against Duke as the
Blue Devils went on a 12-0 run to grab a 10-point lead.

Jones had six of his 10 first-half points in the spurt, while
Williams added four.

The Blue Devils missed eight straight 3-pointers to let the
Terrapins back into it. Maryland used a 12-1 run for a 31-30 lead.
However, Duke closed the half with a 14-footer by Jones and a
3-pointer by Redick for a four-point lead in the 17th straight
meeting in which both teams were ranked in the Top 25.

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