DURHAM — Chelsea Gray has spent much of her career at Duke filling up the score sheet and helping her teammates get points.
And when the No. 5 Blue Devils needed her to light up the scoreboard against No. 7 Maryland, the junior guard was more than up to the task.
On the night she scored her 1,000th career point, Gray scored a career-high 28 as the Blue Devils ripped the Terps 71-56 Monday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
In an uncharacteristically unbalanced scoring effort, the Blue Devils (22-1, 12-0 ACC) got 17 points from Tricia Liston and 16 points and 10 rebounds from Elizabeth Williams, while nobody else scored more than four.
It was just a great physical game, an excellent game to help prepare us for the NCAA tournament and the way those games go, Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie said. It was important to us to be physical and also to play against a physical team. I love the fact that Elizabeth led us in rebounding and was able to be really strong without getting into foul trouble.
I loved seeing Tricia with six rebounds. And I loved to see Chelsea able to elevate her game the way she did and be able to do the things she was able to do on the floor given the attention she was drawing.
Alyssa Thomas and Katie Rutan led the Terps (19-4, 10-2) with 14 points each. Thomas added 12 rebounds.
Im proud of how our team fought tonight, said Maryland coach Brenda Frese, who was ejected with 3:51 left and Duke ahead 59-50, sending Gray to the line to hit four free throws. But Im disappointed. I dont think the score is indicative in terms of how this team fought and how they played.
Gray was a career-high 13-for-14 from the line and the Blue Devils were 21-for-22.
Marylands only lead was 44-42 on a Chloe Pavlech 3-pointer with 10:51 to go. And at that point Gray went to work, hitting a 3-pointer, two free throws and then a layup to give Duke a 51-46 advantage at 7:39.
It felt good (scoring 28), but I still only had three assists and three rebounds so there is definitely plenty of space to improve, Gray said. During that run we started getting stops on defense and then converting on offense. We started executing and getting easy scores.
Duke shot 37.1 percent to Marylands 34.4. The Terps ACC scoring leader Tianna Hawkins finished with six points.
Maryland won the rebound battle 41-39, but committed 24 turnovers to Dukes 16.
I just tried to keep posting inside the being aggressive, said the sophomore Williams, who has four double-doubles on the season and eight for her career. Things started to open up in the second half, and I was finishing better. I also think the guards did a great job of getting me the ball.
Duke, which was up by as many as 10 in the first half, led 31-28 at the break behind 11 points from Liston. Rutan had 11 at halftime for Maryland.
I think we had to be more aggressive on defense (after halftime), Liston said. We got a couple of steals in a row and we were able to bring it down and score. Once we calmed down we got the stops and executed on the other end.